- the Internet everywhere (3G wireless or NBN), means "smart controllers" will be cheap, simple and everywhere. They will be able to trivially hook into 3-7 day local forecasts, especially useful for air-conditioning units.
- "Smart Power" metering will start to charge power at different prices during the day, rather than the disconnected traditional pricing of "a single price whenever you use it".
You can see real-time wholesale electricity prices on-line and a Pretty graph in 30-min periods.
Yesterday (12/12/11), the 30-min price varied from $52/MWhr @ 4PM to $16/MWhr @ 2AM. In 5-min periods, the price ranged from $95 to $16.
From "An EnergySmart Plan. Positioning Queensland for a Diversified Energy Future 2010 - 2050" [original dead link] (Nov 2010 report for Queensland Government):
Ergon and ENERGEX will each spend $6 billion (that is $12B combined) in capital expenditure over the next five years to cope with extraordinary consumption during a fraction of the year, rather than the average consumption over the course of the year.That's not good business, but how can a solution be converted into useful products that make a profit?
To put this into perspective, ENERGEX has over $900M in assets that are only used for approximately 3.5 days per year. (Mark Paterson, ENERGEX, The SPRA Standard).