Re: problem is real but pretty easily solvable
> Great. And if the grid is busy one night, I can't drive to work in the morning.
I really don't think you have thought that argument through. If you are plugging in every night, then you are "topping up" only, not doing a full charge. Average km/years in Australia is 15-20K, call it 50Km/day. That's going to be in the ballpark of 10-15KWhr between plugin and unplug. If you charged that evenly from 6pm through 6am, that is going to be an average draw of 1KW, or about the same as a fan heater on low. Still sounds scary? Didn't think so.
Grids are provisioned to deliver the maximum expected draw, not a typical draw. Due to a regulation failure here, distributers were able to get a guaranteed profit simply by showing they had invested in the polls and wires. The more they spent, the more profit, so of course they carried out upgrades with the slimmest of justifications. This was largely responsible for a doubling of power bills over a 5 year period. So what's that to do with my point? Glad you asked. The figures published to justify the need for this gold plating showed that it was literally needed for 20 hours a year. (Blame air conditioning during the 47°C day we had a few weeks back for a large number of those hours). A typical nightly load does not stretch the distribution networks, certainly nothing happening at 2am comes close. You are never going to be without a full top up over that 12 hour period.
In fact, it is beneficial to the grid to have these 5KWhr power reserves sitting on every other house. It reduces the load on the generator to local grid connections where many of these bottlenecks are.
> And, "auction off those slots to the highest bidder and earmark all profits from those auctions to distribution network improvements". Did you keep a straight face with that one?
We already have auctions for base load, backup, frequency stabilisation, and load shedding, and already have buy backs for PV panel surpluses. Retailers already need to bid for this capacity. It really is just another two markets for emergency load shedding and buy back. Hardly impossible. Or are you pointing out the lack of foresight held by our Muppets-in-charge? You are sadly probably right that they will want a cut. I hope they can see that taking a cut of such slots will result in higher electricity prices and leave consumers worse off than if it was just a direct tax of whatever amount (the difference in that money go round is the lining of the pockets of the generators). By earmarking the proceeds, you eventually kill the need for that market and drive the costs down to an optimal equilibrium.