Germany’s sonnen could undercut Australian energy firms by as much as 90 percent
Battery storage could be the key to reducing spiralling energy prices for Australian consumers, and German firm sonnen appears to be stealing a march on its rivals.
Announcing itself at an event in Sydney this week, the company will offer packages costing between $30 and $50 a month, depending on the size of household and required battery unit. Customers could even be given free power if surplus energy is used to feed into the wider grid.
So, how does it work? Sonnen plans to build its own grid of power through a network of its own batteries in Australian houses – the combined power will then provision sonnen subscribers who will effectively trade surplus power, thus massively reducing their costs versus the traditional providers.
An annual bill of $360 is a tenth of that offered by Origin Energy, based on a three-bed house subject to its latest price increases.
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The catch is the cost of a battery, which at the moment costs around $14,000. However, sonnen says this cost will be recouped after just five years based on current monthly price comparisons.
At the moment, Tesla is sonnen’s most direct rival, but Elon Musk’s company has done a good job of educating the Australian market in the perks of battery storage, which will play into the German firm’s hands.
Sonnen predicts sales growth of 300 percent for the next 1-2 years, and has also secured a deal with Natural Solar to supply and install its units, the same company that works for Tesla.
The scheme has been a hit in Germany, with 60,000 customers making up its virtual power plant.
EDGEMATRIX and NTT DOCOMO deliver AI at the edge
Leading Japanese telecommunications firm NTT DOCOMO, together with startup EDGEMATRIX, is harnessing the power of 5G to support artificial intelligence-enabled video, real-time analytics and, ultimately, the next step in the evolution of the modern smart city.
Founded under the roof of Silicon Valley tech firm Cloudian, EDGEMATRIX has grown into a cutting edge startup based in Japan. NTT DOCOMO has been a shareholder in the company since 2019, having spent the past two years jointly developing and commercialising EDGEMATRIX's revolutionary edge-AI platform using high-speed, high-capacity, low-latency 5G technology. NTT DOCOMO, together with EDGEMATRIX, launched a world-first edge AI platform for intelligent video analytics, enabling high resolution, high security, and real-time video using AI.
Courtesy of EDGEMATRIX
The platform simplifies, manages and oversees the implementation and integration of AI at the edge, which captures, analyses and stores video close to where it is captured in industrial and retail settings, "on location at factories, buildings and other outdoor and indoor locations." The solution is also used in social infrastructure such as roads, railroads, and long-term care facilities for safety monitoring and anomaly detection.
Using Edge AI Box, a compact indoor and outdoor device equipped with a GPU for deep learning-based AI and a communication module (WiFi/LTE/5G) together with various interfaces such as camera connection, it becomes possible to process video streaming from surveillance cameras on-site (at the edge) and in real-time. EDGEMATRIX's Edge AI Boxes can be installed across a site and then monitored using the company's platform. The platform maps the locations of multiple Edge AI Box devices installed on site, monitors their operational status and enables the devices to be controlled remotely.
EDGEMATRIX's customers can use the platform to pruchase additional AI applications from a rapidly-expanding ecosystem which allow them to implement the right solution for the right situation. This simplifies the implementation and upgrade of edge AI for processing and storing video data captured with video cameras at customer premises either outdoor or indoor. Using "Edge View" feature, it is also possible to simultaneously display on the browser a large number of AI-processed real-time videos from the field.
Partnerships like this are key to NTT DOCOMO’s efforts to integrate 5G technologies into the modern enterprise.
Zaif Siddiqi, Executive Director and Global Head of NTT DOCOMO’s 5G & IoT Business Department, comments: “When you're approaching digital transformation, there's more to it than just leveraging cutting edge technologies into new customer experiences.” Unless the needs of the customer, and the underlying market forces at play, can be truly understood, “5G doesn’t mean anything,” he explains, adding that in order to find the right contexts for deployment, “Selection of the right partners is extremely important to delivering on the potential value of 5G.”