[Image: 'My Life as a Battery' | © Mark Ravitz]
It's been building for the best part of 5 years now, but the last few days could well be looked back on as the point when battery storage finally started to be considered as an essential component of Australia's long–term energy mix.
That it took a tweet from American Elon Musk to drag this particular technology to the forefront of our politicians minds is not surprising given they've shown themselves time and again to be quite happy to sit back and follow the herd, rather than actually stand up and lead Australia to the renewable technology leadership position that we should hold by now.
However, putting my ongoing frustration with the snails' pace of renewables adoption in Australia to one side for a moment, the media's focus on battery storage over the last few days is a truly exciting moment. It signifies, I think, yet another concrete step towards the reliable, interconnected and flexible renewable energy system that Australia could actually have in a couple of decades time.
It has also allowed a serious, relatively fact–based debate to occur on the viability of battery storage to help solve some of the energy supply issues Australia is currently facing. It's also allowed some of the Australian companies that have been striving to develop various renewables technologies (including battery storage) to get some much needed air–time and exposure that will, hopefully, drastically increase their ability to source the additional investment many of them need to bring their solutions to scale.
The Lyon Group and Zen Energy are 2 such companies, but they are far from the only ones operating in Australia. Whilst our politicians have argued over which deckchairs to move (let alone actually moving them), a quiet technological revolution has been unfolding all around them with companies getting on with finding solutions to this country's zero–carbon energy needs in spite of the barriers constantly placed in front of them.
2017 is maybe (just maybe) the year that this revolution ups the decibels and starts to drown out our squabbling pollies – at least for a while!