Australian homeowners will soon be able to trade on a digital marketplace in electricity generated by rooftop solar panels.
The Distributed Energy Exchange (deX) was introduced last week to 5,000 houses, with a mission to radically change the face of energy production and consumption.
A multitude of electricity providers, energy tech startups, energy retailers and energy agencies invested in the concept which essentially sees households paid for their contribution to the grid.
While energy is traditional distributed from large scale power plants, this new method decentralises the system and creates a network of rooftop solar panels and batteries.
This innovative launch has seen households or buildings emerge as active participants on a distributed grid, as opposed to merely consumers.
The network aims to reduce energy costs, encourage investment in renewable sources and create a buffer against surges in demand.
Individual household solar panels may sound insignificant, but aggregated together they become a major electricity source.
These networks of houses have the potential to act as virtual power plants, saving huge amounts that would be spent on energy infrastructure.
Critics are concerned that heavy decentralisation will remove pressure on governments to invest in this sector but investors argue that utilising solar panels is essential.
Phil Blythe, founder of a partner in deX, states: ‘The uptake of rooftop solar is one of the highest in the world per capita in Australia – around 1.6 million rooftops are fitted with solar – and it’s being rapidly followed by battery storage.’
It seems Australia is ahead of the game – it’s hard to find fault in a network capable of increasing the use of renewable energy while simultaneously lowering the cost of electricity.