Installation rates of battery storage systems in Australian homes could reach around 1,000 a year by the end of 2014, according to new estimates, as solar households look for ways to make the most of the energy they generate.
Feedback from solar installers suggests that between 15 and 20 per cent of solar customers are enquiring about storage – a rate that is increasing each month.
Australia currently has around 3.4GW of solar PV on household rooftops (and some businesses), but this is expected to rise six-fold out to 2030 as households invest another $30 billion in solar systems.
Many of these installations will look at battery storage because of the structure of tariffs and decisions by network operators, retailers and pricing regulators.
And in response, numerous companies are poised to roll out home energy storage solutions in coming months. UBS recently predicted that households in major Australian cities may find it economic to go “off-grid” as early as 2018. Morgan Stanley predicted a mass move toward energy storage, and warned of an imminent “tipping point”.
CSIRO noted that half of domestic demand could be met by solar and storage on-site.
The decision by regulators to assign a low “value” of solar exports, and to make such payments voluntary in some jurisdictions, is forcing homeowners to look at how to “self-consume” their solar output rather than export it back to the grid. Battery storage is an obvious option.
Recent decisions by network operators Ergon Energy and Energex to place restrictions on rooftop solar systems exporting back into the grid will do the same.
Ergon Energy says it is inevitable that households will turn to storage, mainly because it is cheaper than the unsubsidised delivery of centralised power. It will also save the network operator money because it won’t have to build so many poles and wires.
Top image via the ABC
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