Today's announcement by US electric car manufacturer Tesla of a roll-out of household, business and utility-scale batteries will be a game changer for the future of the state's electricity industry, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
While the new technology offers unprecedented opportunities to generate jobs, cut emissions and reduce energy bills, NSW Premier Mike Baird's plans to lease the wires and poles will now have to face the challenge of households opting for energy independence from the grid.
Details of the announcement are available at: http://j.mp/TeslaBatts
Dr Kaye said: "Cost-effective battery storage will entirely disrupt the economics of traditional wires and poles utilities.
"As solar panels and storage become cost-competitive with grid connection, households who can stump up the cash will leave the network in droves.
"Many of the existing 298 thousand solar households in NSW will be looking at the battery option to escape the cost and environmental impacts of being connected to the grid.
"The business case for private sector bidders for the wires and poles leases just took a massive hit.
"Premier Mike Baird's dream of reaping $15 billion on the leases has been dashed by Tesla and the other companies who will inevitably join the energy storage revolution.
"The wires and poles companies recover their investment by charging consumers for their costs and a healthy additional profit. When those household that can afford stand-alone systems disconnect, the rest of the community are left to pay.
"If the leases proceed, low income households and renters will be even more vulnerable to private sector owners recouping their investment from a diminishing pool of customers.
"Public sector ownership is now even more important to protect low income households and apartment dwellers from becoming the victims of corporate power monopolies.
"The roll-out of cost-effective battery storage is now inevitable.
"Household energy storage will disrupt the business models of every sector of the electricity industry.
"The technology offers unprecedented opportunities to generate jobs, cut emissions and reduce energy bills.
"There are limitless possibilities for the state's economic future and for a community seeking to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.
"The benefits of decentralisation of the electricity generation can only be guaranteed by maintaining public ownership.
"Premier Mike Baird now has to explain how his privatisation plans can survive both the Australian Energy Regulator's latest determination and Tesla's cost-effective battery storage," Dr Kaye said.