Solar Combined with Home Battery Storage – The Future of Affordable Electricity?

Solar Combined with Home Battery Storage – The Future of Affordable Electricity?

Coupling solar panels with home battery storage could be the cheapest way to get electricity within three years, according to a report by the Climate Council.

The environmental not-for-profit organisation found battery storage would “revolutionise” the way Australians accessed electricity, allowing homes to become more independent of the traditional grid.

Off-grid or battery systems have been out of reach for the general consumer. But as technology advances, the prices have become more affordable.

The key findings from the Climate Council’s report are:

  • By 2018, going “off-grid” could be cost competitive with traditional grid
  • Coupling solar panels with home battery storage could be cheapest option
  • Half of all Australian households tipped to adopt solar
  • Switch to solar expected to accelerate as battery cost drops
  • With battery storage capacity expected to grow 50-fold within a decade, the report found going off-grid could be cost-competitive with staying connected as early as 2018.

As feed-in tariffs are phased out and grid electricity becomes more expensive, Australia could be the number one market for home battery storage by the same year, the report found.

“Anyone who has PV [photovoltaic cells] on their roof knows they’re paid a fraction – maybe a tenth – of what it costs them to buy power off the grid,” the Climate Council’s Andrew Stock said.

“If they have a tool, a battery, that can allow them to store the surplus power during the day and use it at night, it means they’re going to get greater control than they already have over their power bill.”

In April, US-based technology and automotive company Tesla unveiled Powerwall, a cheap lithium ion battery, soon to be churned out on a massive scale in a giant factory being built in Nevada. The battery is estimated, with add-ons, to cost about $5,500.

By 2020, the factory is expected to produce 35 gigawatt hours (gWh) of lithium-ion battery storage each year, more than the entire worldwide production of the batteries in 2013.

Tesla, along with another of the world’s biggest home battery manufacturers, EnPhase, has announced Australia will be its first market.

Another comprehensive report released by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), calls on Australian consumers to get to know their own energy profiles and to embrace energy efficiency. And if they want to invest in a solar-battery system, perhaps test the economic feasibility first using the ATA’s Sunulator tool.

“Different consumption levels and different lifestyles require different solutions – no one size fits all,” said ATA policy and research manager Damian Moyse.

“Having a more energy-efficient home will mean you need smaller sized batteries, which will ultimately be better for your overall energy costs and the environment,” he said.

“Batteries need to be considered in the context of an overarching, holistic energy management approach – whether that be for a household or business.”

Sources: ABC and One Step Off the Grid

If you would like more information on solar systems and home battery storage, contact AMP’D Electrical & Solar (your local Gold Coast solar experts) on 0475 415 414 or at [email protected]. You can also read more about our solar services here.

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