It has been predicted that the uptake of solar batteries will triple this year as the first national audit of solar batteries shows almost 7,000 were installed in Australian homes last year as reported by ABC News.
Warwick Johnston from the solar consultancy SunWiz carried out the audit by speaking to suppliers and manufacturers. He said that there was a significant fall in battery prices midway through 2016 and battery popularity just exploded. He also said that with the South Australia experiencing blackouts, the batteries would eventually be a game-changer for the Australia’s energy networks. Solar batteries are quite pricey, but due to competition, prices have been going down.
There are about 20 manufacturers producing about 90 products for sale in Australia, with the cheapest battery retailing for $1,200. Larger batteries can cost between $8,000 to $10,000.
Mr Johnston said there was potential for the stored energy in the batteries to be put back into the grid for the public to use. He also added that within 3 years people might see batteries playing a bigger role in the electrical network.
The country’s energy networks have been criticised by some as being weak or unreliable and some consumers see batteries as a solution to ensure that they will have enough power supply.
Networks in most Australian states and territories including South Australia are doing battery trials to study the significance for their infrastructure. A part of the trial is SA power networks can tap into customer’s stored battery energy when needed to manage any network power issues.
John Bradley, chief executive of Energy Networks Australia, stated that batteries will be a big and absolute part of Australia’s energy future. He said the feedback from networks running battery trials was that the technology was performing well.