Is home solar battery storage worth it? (Jan 2018 update)

January 18, 2018
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2018? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. We then had an August 2017 update, followed by […]

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Solar installs through the roof, as Australians deliver record growth

January 18, 2018
Sunwiz solar growth 2018

Extraordinary figures continue to roll in from the year that was for renewable energy in Australia, but easily the most outstanding so far are the numbers – and “eye watering charts” – that have just come in on national solar PV installations for 2017. The latest tally from PV market analysts SunWiz has revealed a […]

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Sungrow PowCube battery storage system (Analysis & review)

January 17, 2018
Sungrow PowCube battery

Inverter manufacturer Sungrow has recently introduced its PowCube battery storage system into the Australian market. The PowCube system consists of a Sungrow SH5K Hybrid inverter and up to 3x SPB4K8 battery units, which have been developed as part of a joint venture between Sungrow and battery manufacturer Samsung SDI. The PowCube system promises to be […]

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Second Tesla “big battery” to power Victorian farm

January 15, 2018
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French renewables developer Neoen has once again selected US battery maker Tesla to partner with it on another ground-breaking Australian project – the construction of a wind farm and battery storage facility that will help power a regional Victoria farming business. The wind and battery project, first flagged in mid-2017, will pair the 204MW Bulgana […]

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Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

January 15, 2018
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If you’re shopping around for solar panels or a battery storage for your home, you’re undoubtedly come across the terms ‘kilowatt’ (abbreviated as kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh). These terms might be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve written this article to explain these terms and make them easy to understand. Power vs energy (vs capacity) When […]

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Is home solar power still worth it in Australia in 2018?

January 11, 2018
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Rooftop solar on its own is already affordable enough to be a smart choice for virtually any Australian home with an unshaded roof and some daytime electricity usage. This is true even in the absence of generous, state-backed solar feed-in tariffs and the (slight) reduction of the up-front incentive for solar available through the federal Renewable […]

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Which electricity retailer is giving the best solar feed-in tariff?

January 10, 2018
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Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the solar energy that they send into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous. Much has changed, however, since we […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2018

January 10, 2018
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Slight decreases in most capital cities and across most system sizes resulted in an overall average commercial solar system price of about $1.17/W – the lowest on record since Solar Choice began keeping track of commercial solar system prices in May 2014. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2018

January 9, 2018
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In this month’s Solar PV Price Index, the average price for a ‘primary’/standard solar PV system offering remains almost unchanged from December, at about $1.31 per watt ($1.31/W). The average for a premium system was $1.56/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.93/W – both up slightly from last month. Average solar PV […]

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Solar Choice office closing dates for Christmas/New Years holiday period

December 21, 2017
Solar Choice Christmas

Solar Choice will be closing up shop for the holidays on Friday afternoon this week. Please note that our office will be closed for two weeks from Saturday 23 December, reopening on Monday 8 January 2018. During this period some members of our team will be (mostly) unavailable via email and phone, and our 1300 number […]

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A look back at 2017: A year that smashed multiple Aussie solar records

December 21, 2017
Solar records 2017

2017 has been a year of records for Australian solar power, and the year’s not even quite finished yet. Here are some of the highlights of the 10 records that have been broken in 2017 (some of them multiple times). 1. Fastest time to reach 1GW of commissioned solar in a calendar year. There’s only […]

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Happiness is an electricity bill? A coda to 2017 (Solartopia #9)

December 21, 2017
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I never thought I’d find myself chasing up with my electricity company to ask for an electricity bill, but two weeks ago that’s exactly what I was doing. I’d been living in my new house for over three months and still hadn’t heard a peep out of Energy Locals about what I owed them. If […]

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What’s the current levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for solar in Australia?

December 20, 2017
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Solar is affordable in Australia – possibly more affordable than anywhere else in the world. But as much as sunlight may seem like ‘free energy’, you actually pay for the ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity when you purchase a solar system. Aside from up-front price, one of the best ways to gauge affordability […]

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Victoria to introduce variable rate solar feed-in tariff – as high as 29c/kWh during peak times

December 20, 2017
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The Victorian Essential Services Commission (ESC) has proposed a variable-rate feed-in tariff for solar & battery system owners in the state. A draft decision from the ESC on the matter puts the state’s minimum solar feed-in rate (for off-peak periods) at 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (7.2c/kWh), while households exporting solar to the grid at peak […]

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2018: When battery storage will get a grip on the grid

December 20, 2017
Battery forecast

A new forecast on battery storage growth in Australia has predicted an additional 800MWh of utility scale batteries installed or in construction by this time next year, and almost as much battery installed behind the meter by the end of 2018. The forecast comes from Ray Wills: a Western Australian energy expert and “futurist” with […]

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AEMO plans for future (clean) grid, with no mention of base-load

December 20, 2017
AEMO no baseload

The Australian Energy Market Operator has effectively thrown down the gauntlet to the federal government on its climate and technology assumptions, with the first installment of its mini white paper on energy, the Integrated System Plan (ISP). In a discussion paper released on Tuesday, AEMO says the future grid will be dominated by wind, solar, […]

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Air conditioning terror in the heat (Solartopia #8)

December 14, 2017
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Welcome to the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures in Newcastle soaring to 34 degrees around the middle of the day. Because my life is full of excitement, two of the most noteworthy moments from my day at home were a) spotting a gigantic blue tongue in the back yard hiding behind […]

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Always know which electricity plan is best for you: WATTever launches Deal Tracker service

December 14, 2017
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Choosing the right electricity retailer & plan is an essential first step in keeping power bills under control. For Australia’s nearly 2 million solar households, the question is arguably even more important because in most states different retailers offer different solar feed-in tariff rates. Unfortunately, higher feed-in tariff rates are sometimes used as ‘bait’ to […]

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Rooftop solar: Australia’s greatest opportunity – and its greatest risk

December 14, 2017
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The huge amounts of rooftop solar PV being installed on Australian homes and businesses is rapidly becoming one of the grid’s greatest assets, but they could also represent one of its biggest risks. Australian Energy Market Operator principal Dr Jenny Riesz has warned that if Australia’s tens of gigawatts of distribute PV are not properly […]

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Resisting energy transition like trying to resist internet: AEMO chief

December 13, 2017
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Trying to resist the global transition to renewable energy-based grids is like trying to stop the internet, the chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned. In an interview with RenewEconomy, AEMO CEO Audrey Zibelman said Australia would be a world leader in the transition to a cheaper, smarter, cleaner and more reliable grid, […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – December 2017

December 13, 2017
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Welcome to the second edition of Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index – the companion to our Solar PV Price Index, which covers solar system installation prices around Australia. The aim of the Battery Storage Price Index is to assist you in determining whether batteries are right for your home. Average battery system prices for […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for December 2017

December 12, 2017
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This month’s Commercial Solar PV Price Index sees the introduction of 70kW solar systems for the first time (a long overdue addition). The average cost of installing a commercial solar system in Australia currently sits at around $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) – nominally less than last month‘s figure of $1.20/W and a modest improvement over […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2017

December 12, 2017
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The average price per watt ($/W) for primary offerings was $1.30 this month – down slightly from November and a new low since we began tracking prices in 2012. The average for a premium system was $1.54/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.86/W. December marks the second month using our new Solar […]

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Reduce vs. produce: When to invest in solar and when to invest in energy efficiency projects

December 7, 2017
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If you’re interested in saving money on your electric bill, there are two popular ways to do it. One way is to invest in a solar energy system. The other way is to reduce your energy consumption by making upgrades. Comparing solar vs. energy efficiency at a high level Investing in solar energy tends to […]

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Australia hits new rooftop solar high as homes and businesses get smart – and go big

December 7, 2017
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Australian homes and businesses installed a record monthly total of 120MW of rooftop solar in November, beating the all-time high set in June 2012 and rounding off what is now certain to be a record breaking year – and this time without the help of premium feed-in tariffs. So what is driving this new solar […]

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ATA launches free home solar and battery sizing tool

December 6, 2017
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Australian homes looking to install solar and battery storage systems can now access a free-to-use tool offering them key guidance on the system size, expected energy bill savings and payback times. The online service – available here – was launched by not-for-profit Alternative Technology Association (ATA) on Tuesday. It aims to bridge a knowledge gap […]

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Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

December 5, 2017
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Lots of Solar Choice customers ask about battery storage for solar power, but not many have a clear idea of how much battery capacity they need. This article takes a look at the factors that come into play when considering how to choose the right amount of battery capacity for your solar-plus-storage system. Note that this article […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

December 4, 2017
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for November 2017

November 29, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain at about $1.20 per watt (after STC incentive and GST are applied) for the month of November, according to data from the Solar Choice network. While the larger system sizes (30kW, 50kW, 100kW) remained mostly unchanged, average prices for 10kW systems dropped slightly – from $1.34/W last month to $1.30/W this […]

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ARENA still has $700m to spend, to bring down cost of storage

November 29, 2017
ARENA battery portfolio

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has tipped 2018 to be a big year for large-scale energy storage, as the Agency focuses its efforts and remaining funds on the integration of large-scale solar and wind. In an address to the Large Scale Solar and Storage conference in Sydney on Monday, ARENA investment director Dan Sturrock said […]

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Queensland chooses sunshine over coal, to relief of solar industry

November 28, 2017
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The medium-term future of the solar industry in Australia – along with several large-scale wind and hybrid projects, and some key storage installations – is back on stable ground, for now, with the likely re-election of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. The final result of the weekend poll, which is still being weighed up, could have […]

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