Already more than two million Australians have voted to take control of their energy costs and are driving a more competitive, productive, and open energy market, according to a paper produced for this week’s Australian Davos Connection Forum on National Infrastructure by Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green.

“The electricity system is already beginning to transition towards a model where large numbers of smaller generators provide the bulk of our electricity, helping to rein in spiralling costs for consumers and give them more power over their bills than ever before,” according to the paper.

“For decades, the electricity sector has operated globally on a model of large, centralised, state-owned power plants. Now the pace of technology innovation, coupled with the demand by consumers for greater control of their energy is driving fundamental change,” Mr Green said.

“The move to a more de-centralised energy future through the widespread use of technologies such as solar power can produce enormous benefits for consumers, with more competition, lower-cost infrastructure and more efficient use of resources.

“All the indications are that this will reduce the need to build new infrastructure, improve competition and greatly improve the efficiency with which existing infrastructure is used.

“The role of grid-supplied power will be potentially inverted, from the primary source of power to a safety net supplier of last resort. Smaller generation will be the primary source of power, boosted by the increasingly wider availability of energy storage technologies.

“As with all disruptive technologies, a more distributed form of generation creates winners and losers, and many of those who have benefited from the traditional system will have an obvious tendency to resist change and the ability to protest loudly.

“Others will embrace change. It is an exciting and dynamic time for the energy sector to drive innovation and reach for the future,” said Mr Green.

The paper ‘Centralised to de-centralised energy: What does it mean for Australia?’ is available at http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/policy-advocacy/reports.html

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.