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Finally, some good news for green energy in Australia!
The world-first release of the Tesla Powerwall in Oz has been met with a warm reception from solar enthusiasts around the country, with the first battery pack already installed in a Western Sydney home amid much hype. Promisingly, this groundswell of consumer interest is predicted to become an energy revolution-of-sorts, according to a report released by the Climate Council last year.
The super good stats: Half of all Aussies are believed to eventually transition to solar battery systems. Bring on the energy revolution!
How it works
Home battery storage is not new and is a relatively simple concept. Here's what you need to know:
- Most battery packs currently available are lithium-ion batteries. The Tesla system has a 7kWh capacity, whilst competitor Emphase provides stackable 1.2kWh modules.
- Battery storage systems work on a daily cycle, allowing you to charge the battery via solar panels (or the grid) during the day when the sun is shining, and discharge power into your home at night during peak-usage times.
- Battery storage units are only one-third of a functional solar-battery home system; you will also need solar panels and an inverter. A few third-party energy providers are now selling reasonably priced bundle packages, with an abundance of options sure to emerge in the not-too-distant future.
- The system allows consumers to either feed energy back into the grid or when coupled with solar panels, to potentially go off-grid.
Why this is big
The appeal of battery storage systems lie in their ability to make it easy for consumers to have greater control of their own energy production. Whether they are eco-warriors who are drawn by the promise of complete solar reliance, or households wanting to be savvy with their spending, solar battery systems are a means for consumers to regain some freedom.
For the latter, the savings are significant. Amanda Mckenzie from the Climate Council explained that "going off-grid by installing battery storage could be cost-competitive with staying connected as early as 2018 as the price of battery storage falls."
The exciting thing for those of us here in Australia is that battery pack suppliers are battling it out for dominance of the Australian market, a lucrative one seeing as 1.4 million Aussie households have existing solar panels. This means that prices will be competitive, and are predicted to decline as competition increases.
For the rest of the world, a successful uptake of battery-solar systems in Australia means confidence for investors and other involved stake-holders. Additionally, the transition showcases the ability of a consumer-lead movement to challenge entrenched market paradigms, which gets a big thumbs up from us here at 1 Million Women!
Maybe your household is ready to upgrade your solar system to complete solar reliance, or perhaps you're inspired to install an entire package from scratch. Either way, we'd love to hear your experience in the comments below. May the battery power be with you!
[All Images: Shutterstock]