The cost of installing solar battery storage in your household is falling rapidly. Investment bank Morgan Stanley has predicted that storage costs could fall over 40 per cent over the next two years.
The average cost of a 7kWh solar battery could be just over $5000 in 2018. Compared to the price point today of $10 000. So households who have installed solar should soon start thinking of the possibility of installing a solar storage system.
But falling prices are not the only reason you should think about installing storage in your home. We’ve rounded up the top 7 benefits of installing a solar battery storage system.
Battery storage has the potential to cut the ‘consumption charge’ of your electricity bill. This charge is dependent on the amount of electricity you draw from the grid. Rather than drawing power from the grid when your solar panels aren’t generating electricity (i.e. at night), you can use the power you’ve stored earlier.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to remove the fixed ‘supply charge’ of your bill if you remain connected to the grid. This equates to approximately $0.80 – $1.50 per day, depending on where you live.
To cut this fixed charge you would need to go ‘off-grid’. While this may be an attractive option for many people, we don’t recommend this just yet. This is because if there is ever an issue with your system you may be left without power for a period of time. Nonetheless, going off-grid is quickly becoming more achievable with battery technology developing at a rapid rate.
Finally, if return on investment is important to you, it is important to check whether the cost of installing a battery system is offset by savings in your electricity bill. Currently, storage systems are still expensive, and generally won’t pay for themselves within their warranted lifespan except in a few situations. It is recommended that you speak to your battery installer about your expected savings.
Generous Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) programs will be rolled back at the end of the year for several states. More than 200 000 households in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia will be affected and may have rates slashed to an average of 4.8c/kWh.
Those affected with be hit with a bill shock of about $1,500 — but up to as much as $4,000 for some households.
This appears to be a deliberate move to push households to buy solar batteries, and to lock in long-term deals with electricity retailers. Thus , it may soon make economic sense to buy a solar battery storage system if your household relies on the FiT program.
That way you can take advantage of the power you generate in the day, without the need to import or export energy to the grid.
The average solar system will prevent between 1.75 – 2.05 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere every year.
Although, unless you’re home during the day, most of the power you generate will be exported to the grid. So even with a solar system installed you will still need electricity generated from fossil fuels.
Depending on where you live, the mix of electricity generation from the grid will differ. The graphs below show the mix of energy generated in Australia.
As you can see solar energy only makes up a small fraction of Australia’s total electricity supply.
By storing the solar power you generate you will significantly reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Additionally, you will also decrease our reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
It is not uncommon for storms in Australia to cause power outages. This is an issue because our lifestyles today rely so heavily on having electricity around the clock (*gasp* no Netflix!).
Power outages are inconvenient, so having a backup electricity supply could be an option to keep you out of the dark.
But not all solar battery storage systems can power your home even when your grid is down. So it is important to check before you buy. A couple of systems which include backup power are the WattGrid and the Bosch’s BPT-S 5 Hybrid.
By installing a home solar batteries you have the opportunity to become a ‘micro-retailer’ of electricity. Using the appropriate technology (the Reposit Power Box), any battery system may access the National Electricity Market (NEM) which was previously only available to utility companies.
Doing so, you could potentially earn a premium rate for stored energy that is exported to the grid at the right time. Therefore, you can earn a profit by ‘buying low’ and ‘selling high’ just like the electricity retailers do.
For example, Reposit’s software determines when to sell your stored electricity to maximise your profits. This is dependent on your home’s energy consumption habits, weather, grid demand, and future energy prices.
Battery power is sexy. Okay, maybe that’s going a little too far but it is certainly a hot new technology that everyone is talking about. Largely thanks to the real life Iron Man, Elon Musk, and his Powerwall.
It’s not only the Powerwall which is changing the way we think about electricity but many other systems available on the market today. Plus having this technology in your home will certainly invite some interest.
If you love being the centre of attention, you’ll love solar battery storage. Your friends, family, coworkers, business partners, footy team and drinking buddies will all be itching to find out more.
Who doesn’t love it when they’re the leader of a new trend?
Solar battery storage is still new in Australia. But it shouldn’t be long until it becomes a mainstream technology. In fact, Morgan Stanley expects the market for battery storage to grow to one million by 2020. But its “high case” suggests the take-up could be double that – up to 2 million homes by 2020.
This shift in electricity generation and distribution would mean that Australia could transition to a ‘smart grid’ setup. Here households will be able to buy and sell energy into the grid, without the need for electricity retailers.
Even now we are starting to see many innovative companies popping up in Australia. For example, Localvolts is creating a peer to peer electricity technology which will allow grid-connected individuals to trade electricity with each other.
According to its founder, Jitendra Tomar:
“Anybody, whether you’re big or small, whether you’re a farmer or residential person, whether you’re a high school or tennis club, can become an energy farmer.”
“If I’m buying electricity, I can say ‘well I just want to buy for next month’ and I have a preference for rooftop solar coming from Manly, and if that’s not enough for me, I will take something from New South Wales as long as it’s rooftop solar, and if that’s not enough, I’ll go for windmills.
“And if you’re people living in an apartment and you want to buy from your tennis club, because you like the price, you have a special price for tennis club members, you say ‘yeah, I’ll buy electricity from my tennis club’. So finally we’re going to have a choice.”
Solar battery storage has the potential to change the way we distribute electricity in Australia. With Feed-in Tariff programs ending, and the price of batteries falling, installing a battery storage system in your home will soon become economically feasible.
Additionally, you will also have the chance to be a technology pioneer, leading the way to a smarter, greener Australia.
What are your thoughts on battery storage systems for solar power? Leave a comment below.