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A tweak to the way we price electricity could spark profound changes

New technology will allow battery-owners to more effectively buy energy from the grid when demand is at its lowest, and sell it back when demand is high.

Settling the price every five minutes is a huge advantage to nimble and fast technologies like batteries and new forms of generation, because unlike traditional power plants they can ramp their output up or down in seconds.

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The change will ensure more renewable energy is used, increase the margins for operators of new large-scale batteries and will the cut power bills of domestic battery-owners. When there are enough domestic batteries in the system, they themselves will become a defacto large-scale power generator –deferring or eliminating the need for new power plants.

Amber Electric, based in Melbourne, is already installing the systems across the country. It allows people with batteries to either fully automate their trading with generators or provides an app to prompt them when to buy and sell.

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