'Absolutely crazy' not to electrify everything: Evergen
People use the internet for everything else, so why not use it to get the most out of their electricity and the electrons that comprise it?
Ben Hutt, CEO of Evergen, says all Australians should get a fair share of cheap renewable power and access to smarter use of infrastructure and appliances.
Sophisticated software can already manage the flow of electricity to and from homes, electric cars, pools, schools and energy generators.
"We should be able to control how electrons move around the energy system so that they're not wasted," Mr Hutt told AAP.
Founded in Australia, Evergen provides software around the world to support energy generation and storage.
"I have six children so I think a lot about how we can make this go faster because I worry about the state of the planet," he said.
But Australia is not yet equipped to slash emissions or save households hundreds of dollars on soaring power bills by ditching coal-fired power.
And in every major transformation, regulators are always behind what's already happening, Mr Hutt said.
"The simplest example of waste at the moment would be utility-scale wind farms or solar farms - they're only allowed (by regulators) to produce half the electricity that they can because the grid's not ready," Mr Hutt said.
"The equivalent of that would be networks not allowing you to export energy from your house."
Using smart meters and batteries, Australians could make electrons more valuable and useful by controlling when an electric car is charging or the hot water system turns on, he said.
Ultimately, by connecting everything together in a virtual electricity grid the result would be a more flexible grid that can deal with inflows, as well as the outflows that it was built.
"Our version of that is a collection of places, or devices or houses that are working together to maximise the value of what might be created in one place and moving it to another place," Mr Hutt said.
"We really should get to a world where you're moving demand generation around in a way that makes the most of energy that's available," he said.
But often the local politics determines what gets developed, or the business models of utilities and energy retailers mean less integration of the whole network, Mr Hutt said.
There has been experimentation in Australia but a clash of federal and state regulation has been a barrier.
He said software can be an "enabling layer" to make it happen so that everyone benefits - not just those who can afford solar and a battery.
Benefits could then go to consumers, networks and retailers, and prices would come down as Australia electrifies everything.
Not to do so is "absolutely crazy", he said.