Energy major players LG, Panasonic, Samsung SDI and Tesla are targeting Australia as a testing ground for battery storage, betting that more consumers in the country with the highest rate of rooftop solar panels will rush to purchase solar batteries as prices go down from current prices around $10,000 for an average household according to a report by Reuters.
According to Panasonic Australia managing Director Paul Reid, Australia has a very high residential solar penetration with lots of sunshine, relatively high energy prices and the government is not subsidising to the extent they used to. It creates an environment that is much conducive to the take-up of battery storage.
According to the International Energy Association, solar power is expected to become the leading source of renewable power by the year 2040. By 2050, it is expected to represent about half of the global renewables market or 16% of the total worldwide energy supply. This would be a split between rooftops and industrial scale parks.
The country is seen as an ideal opportunity with around 1.5 million or about 15% of the households already equipped with rooftop solar. Growth hopes are being made by expectations that battery prices will fall as mass take-up starts. Australian energy retailer AGL are expecting costs to fall by 60% over the next five years as materials and chemical technology improve.
Tesla was launched in Australia last December and the company has already announced plans for a second generation lithium battery for the Australian market. Panasonic also hopes to support distribution in other markets. As the market develops, there’s no doubt that there will be opportunities in the industrial, commercial and probably in the off grid or grid support type batteries at a much larger scale.
The whole thing is about changing the mentality of how people use energy and electricity. It’s also about reducing the independence on coal.