Global battery storage industry to fight Australia home bans

Some of the world’s biggest battery manufacturing brands have signalled they will fight new battery storage guidelines proposed for Australia, saying the restrictions are over the top and don’t conform to international standards.

Standards Australia is believed to be preparing the release of new standards that would effectively force most battery storage units to be put in a free-standing and fireproof enclosure, possibly adding thousands of dollars to the cost of installation and making it uneconomic.

As a precursor to that move, Queensland workplace regulators unveiled new recommendations last week that suggested no battery storage units be installed inside homes and garage or adjoining sheds, and instead be put in separate enclosures.

Some in the industry have branded the suggestions as ridiculous: “If you’re going to ban the installation of all battery storage in the home, you might as well ban all laptops,” says Richard Turner, the CEO of Adelaide based Zen Energy, which partners with one of the industry pioneering battery storage makers, Greensmith.

“It’s just a ridiculous position for this country to be in when we have the best renewable energy resource to harness and individuals can basically be energy independent in their own homes.”

The industry fears that even if these proposals are not formally adopted, they could lead to changes in insurance premiums and so become a de-facto requirement, putting the multi-billion industry at risk, virtually before it has got going.

International battery storage leaders Sonnenbatterie, LG Chem and BYD say they have installed batteries in tens of thousands of homes around the world without incident. They – along with Simpliphi, Tesla and others – have vowed to fight the rules.

All these companies have launched products in Australia in anticipation that it will become the first mass market for battery storage in the world, courtesy of its high electricity prices, the high penetration of solar systems, and as back-up in case of blackout.

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  1. Possible regulation over reach. Designed an off grid home and opted to build a fireproof utilities room inside the house, then came across the Aquion salt water batteries. These can never reach a critical state where they explode, and so are perfectly suited to a home environment. Surely, the last thing you would want in your home is a Lithium metal fire, or even the vast amounts of smoke they can produce.

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