Energy storage Australia: we explain the reasons for the huge growth in residential solar battery storage and look at the main companies in the market. Photo credit: Ergon Energy
By Dr Geoff James
Affordable battery energy storage is on Australia’s doorstep and getting an open-armed welcome.
And it is the residential sector that is driving demand, likely to overtake utility-scale installations next year to become the dominant grid-connected storage resource.
Only the immature supply chain can slow the growth of residential storage and with it the new energy democracy.
Several factors combine to make a perfect storm that will blow away old business models and energy industries unwilling to adapt.
Firstly, Australia has lots of rooftop solar PV generation, about 3GW and over 20% of households, which is significant on a world scale.
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After the Tesla Powerwall launch, there is reason to think lithium-ion batteries could become the overwhelming technology of choice for battery storage. Photo: possible Tesla Gigafactory design.
By Jason Deign
The Tesla Powerwall launch three weeks ago focused attention on energy storage but may also have been a nail in the coffin for non-lithium-ion (Li-ion) technologies.
In drastically reducing prices, Tesla removed one of the remaining barriers to adoption of Li-ion as the standard for battery storage.
Currently other technologies are vying for supremacy on the basis of cost, safety, performance and bankability.
However, the launch of a residential battery system for USD$3,500 helped lay to rest the idea that Li-ion is automatically more expensive than other chemistries.
Even Tesla’s grid-scale Li-ion offering, the Powerpack, looks competitive with the most cost-effective battery technologies out there.
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