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Rise Of The Australian Energy Prosumer


AER - Michelle Groves
Australian Energy Regulator (AER) CEO Michelle Groves recently discussed how energy users will increasingly flex their collective muscles in electricity markets in the future.
In a speech at the 2014 Annual Energy Users Association of Australia Conference in Melbourne, Ms. Groves said the idea of the passive electricity customer is changing.
"Users are no longer passive. They are increasingly responding to higher energy prices. Users want to have a say on the services they receive and the cost of those services. Further, technology such as roof-top solar PV has allowed consumers to become producers of electricity too."
Ms. Groves said people power has become integrated into AER's regulatory processes more than ever and its decisions "must and will better reflect the interests of all users".
Cost pressures, the integration of renewable energy generation and electric vehicles and new technologies will greatly affect the way energy is delivered to and by consumers in the future.
"The electricity industry in Australia has undergone a number of transformations in the past two decades, and we are on the cusp of a further fundamental shift in the way electricity is produced and consumed," stated Ms. Groves. 

"The network is no longer only about transporting energy from 'A to B'. The network is becoming a platform for the two-way trade of electricity."
Ms. Groves concluded by saying the next couple of decades will see a revolution in the way small customers interact with the electricity industry and encouraged network businesses to embrace the changes. She warned an inability to do so could see an exodus of electricity customers from the mains grid, thanks to the falling cost of solar and the uptake of energy storage.
"If the networks attempt to create barriers to new, competing technologies by limiting access to their 'platform', there is a risk that a significant number of consumers will 'walk away' from the network. This would have major consequences for many consumers and for the efficient operation of energy markets," said Ms. Groves.
The transcript of Michelle Groves' full speech can be viewed here.
The Australian Energy Regulator regulates energy markets and networks under national energy market legislation and rules.


No deposit solar


SunEdison Announces Solar Joint Venture In China


SunEdison - China
SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) has announced a joint venture agreement with JIC Capital that will result in the development of up to 1 GW of utility-scale solar PV projects in China over the next 3 years.

The joint venture will involve coordinating nonrecourse financing for the solar farms and SunEdison may directly or indirectly purchase the power generation facilities at fair market value.

"This historic joint venture is a great step forward for SunEdison," said Ahmad Chatila, President and CEO of SunEdison. "It is a great honor to partner with a leader like JIC Capital, and we are committed to harnessing our world leading technology and deployment capabilities to deliver clean, cost effective solar energy to the people of China."

Construction is expected to start early next year.

Operation and maintenance of the solar power stations will be handled by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC).

SunEdison's ROC recently passed an important milestone -  3 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity globally. ROC operations are managed from Belmont (California), Chennai (India) and Madrid (Spain).

SunEdison Global Services uses high-tech monitoring hardware and software tools to remotely detect issues in system performance and to determine corrective action. While many issues can be resolved remotely,  190 technicians located on 6 continents are available to travel to facilities to provide on-site expertise.

"We take the responsibility of ensuring plant performance and revenue management very seriously and are honored that so many customers choose to work with us," said  Mark McLanahan, president, Global Services, SunEdison.

In other recent SunEdison news, President and CEO Ahmad Chatila has received "Global New Energy Business Leader" award from the China Institute of Energy Economics and China Energy News.

Mr. Chatila transformed SunEdison from a semiconductor manufacturer to a global leader in the solar sector.

"I'm honored to receive this award on behalf of all of the employees of SunEdison," said Mr. Chatila. "It is their dedication and innovation that has created our success and that inspires me every day." 
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