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  • Energy Storage A Big Factor For Solar Households

    Energy Storage a Big Factor for Solar Households

    In yet another interesting twist to the solar story, it has been suggested that the falling cost of solar and battery storage means that the average Australian household could find it cost-competitive to go off-grid by 2018.

    Feedback from solar installers suggests that between 15 -20% of current solar customers are enquiring about storage, with an estimate that installation of battery storage systems in Australian homes could reach around 1,000 a year by the end of 2014.

    One of the reasons cited is the decision by regulators to assign a low “value” of solar exports, forcing homeowners to look at how to “self-consume” their solar output rather than export it back to the grid. Recent decisions by network operators such as Ergon Energy and Energex to place restrictions on rooftop solar systems exporting back into the grid will do the same, and battery storage is an obvious option.

    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.

    With the CSIRO noting that half of domestic demand could be met by solar and storage on-site, this move towards ‘going off-grid’ is causing a great deal of debate, with some arguing that battery storage at the household level is likely to be most cost effective if the household remains connected to the grid, and simply uses the grid when storage is insufficient.

    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.

    In response, numerous companies are poised to roll out home energy storage solutions in coming months.


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