Regulation drives innovation – proof is in the storage

20130729-214029.jpg A couple of days ago almost every news channel in Australia reported in a very positive light the pathetic news that “despite political uncertainty, the latest research indicates that Australia has managed to reduce greenhouse emissions levels to zero growth over the past decade”. But the media also stated that our climate change initiatives “still need to be significantly ramped up to reach the 5% reduction target by 2020”. How ever you spin it we are still standing still.

On the other side of the world, the UK has committed to an 80% emission reduction target by 2050. Bit of a difference.

So what difference does a target make?

5% by 2020
The response – a complete lack of investment, innovation and entrepreneurship to a low carbon economy. I mean who would be motivated financial or creatively about a 5% target.

80% by 2050
It’s tough target, but the government has committed to it so they must be willing to invest in it.

The response – well here is one example.

The Guardian recently reported on “A trial of the largest battery in Europe, which proponents hope will transform the UK electricity grid and boost renewable energy is due to start in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.”

“At the electricity substation serving Leighton Buzzard, three companies are hoping to deploy one of the biggest batteries ever constructed, using lithium manganese technology. The £18.7m project will form the centrepiece of a trial of energy storage that could have far-reaching implications for the renewables sector. The three companies – S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos – have gained £13.2m backing from the UK taxpayer for their 6 megawatt capacity battery installation, which will absorb and release energy to meet the demands of the grid.”

Yep, that’s over $20m Australian dollars from the government and 70% of the total project cost.

So why are the three companies investing in the technology trial?

“If successful, the battery technology and networking knowhow that goes along with it will be spread around the world. The UK alone could save £3bn a year in the 2020s through large scale energy storage.”

Yep, that would be it, an over £3bn pie.

So what difference does a target make?

It’s pretty obvious really – regulation drives innovation.

But the regulation has to be a stretch, a goal and some to generate some creative (and financial) juices.

One Comment on “Regulation drives innovation – proof is in the storage

  1. Pingback: Are we back to a market driven sustainable property revolution? « SIMON WILD

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