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Feature - Battery storage

Feature header image - photo of rooftops in a suburb, covered in solar panels. 

Feature

Battery storage

Household solar battery storage has been in the media spotlight lately, with Australians expected to lead the way in the uptake of this new technology. Australia is seen as a 'test ground' for small-scale battery storage because of the popularity of rooftop solar—already on around 15 per cent of households—combined with reductions in feed-in tariffs for returning excess power to the grid, and the significant price difference between peak and off-peak electricity.

People who have already installed solar panels may see value in using a battery to store the excess solar energy they generate during the day and use it later, rather than returning it to the grid at lower feed-in tariff rates during the day and paying peak prices for electricity in the evening. This option gives consumers greater control over their electricity bill.

The focus of the Renewable Energy Target is to encourage additional generation of renewable energy. There is no direct incentive through the scheme for adding battery storage to new or existing solar panel systems.

However, when small-scale technology certificates are created for new solar installations we ask whether a storage battery has also been installed. In 2015, a total of 472 of around 130 000 on-grid solar panel systems reported a concurrent battery installation.

Information for consumers who are considering battery storage with their rooftop solar is available on industry association websites including the Clean Energy Council, Australian Solar Council and Australian Energy Storage Council. These associations have information about reputable products and accredited installers.

Photo acknowledgement: Clean Energy Regulator, small-scale solar installation

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