With more than 2 million homes with rooftop solar, Australia has for several years seemed like it was on the verge of a solar battery explosion as many household looked to make more efficient use of their solar power across the day and night.
But with costs of up to $2000 per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity, early adopters faced daunting payback periods if they took the plunge.
Australia is leading the solar storage charge
Now, lower prices and new government rebates mean the long-predicted storage revolution could finally be about to arrive, with energy experts predicting that up to 70,000 solar batteries could be installed in Australian homes in 2019.
This could triple the nation’s stock of installed solar storage units (estimated to be between 25,000 and 35,000 in 2018). This spike in installations would make Australia the biggest home battery market in the world, underpinned by $150 million in state government subsidies.
Victorian Solar Battery Rebate
DC Power Co founder Nick Brass says there’s never been a better time to install a solar battery to better manage your electricity generation. With the new Victorian State Government subsidy – due to begin on 1 July 2019, it will bring down the cost of a Tesla Powerwall 2 to below $10,000 for the first time.
“As with all government support, we know that this will come and go,” says Nick. “If you are considering a battery, you need to get in early and grasp the opportunity before it disappears.”
He says one of the other great selling points of solar batteries is energy independence.
“Sick of being at the whim of the market? Investing in a battery means you can get 80-100% of your energy from your own roof, depending on the size of your household,” he says.
The Victorian Solar Battery Rebate will provide rebates for up to half the value of a solar battery install up to the value of $4838.
There will be 10,000 places available for people with a household income of up to $180,000, who live in their own home valued up to $3 million. Unfortunately it’s not available if you’ve already accessed the Government’s solar panel rebate.
Other solar battery schemes
South Australia and the ACT are offering similar schemes to Victoria. And, in the Federal sphere, the Labor Opposition is promising households earning less than $180,000 a $500 solar solar battery rebate for each kilowatt-hour of capacity, up to the value of $2000. At the time of writing, the Morrison Government did not have a battery rebate policy.
The benefits of investing in a solar storage battery
Another reason to consider a solar battery has emerged in the form of new demand response schemes. These involve the energy market paying households to help strengthen the grid during times when it is stressed (for example on very hot summer days), by doing things like turning off their air conditioners and giving access to the energy stored in home batteries.
“These new schemes can only be good news for solar battery owners because they offer additional ways to reduce the payback period. And we know these markets will become more lucrative over time,” says Nick Brass.
In a similar vein, installing a solar battery also readies its owners for the new world of virtual power plants (VPPs), where batteries are linked together to provide coordinated, dispatchable power to the grid.
Nick says the capacity to join broader programs around VPPs and demand response provides not just opportunities to make more money, but also means those with solar batteries are contributing to the greater good.
“You’re not only getting more value over time, but you are making the energy system more resilient – and that will bring down the cost for everyone,” he says.
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