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Home battery storage to augment solar systems in near future

Home solar battery storage is finally becomming a reality in Australia.

Suitable battery storage has long been a limitation for solar powered homes, but now it seems that technology is finally catching up with demand and batteries for storing power in home applications will soon be commonplace in Australia. The Climate Council has reported that within the next decade improved battery technology will increase battery storage capacity 50-fold, whilst also seeing reductions in the cost of batteries to householders. Currently solar powered systems without battery storage are required to be connected to the grid to upload excess power during the day, and draw power at night when no power is being produced. With the introduction of batteries for excess storage and drawdown, a much more efficient system would be possible. This would, in fact revolutionise solar power in Australia allowing homes to become much more independent of the existing power grid. It will also likely provide huge cost savings for the 1.4 million householders who currently have solar panels on their roofs, with potential for ‘zero dollar’ power bills.

At the moment the cost for batteries sufficient for a home is around $12,000, which would take about eight to ten years to recover in electricity bills (at current prices), but this cost is likely to greatly decrease over the next decade. The Climate Council report released recently claims that power generated from a solar panel battery storage combination could provide the most cost effective power to households within three years.

Source: Baird, R. 21 October, 2015. Home battery storage to ‘revolutionize’ solar industry in Australia: Climate Council report. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-21/home-battery-storage-to-revolutionise-solar-industry/6870444

Diss, K. 8 October, 2015. Perth gets first home powered almost totally by solar. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-08/first-perth-home-almost-totally-solar-powered/6835726

Milman, O. 21 October, 2015. Australia ‘could become world leader in solar home battery storage’. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/21/dramatic-fall-in-price-of-battery-storage-will

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The Author

Skye Douglass

Skye is currently studying her Masters in Water Resources Management through Central Queensland University and has previously completed a Bachelor of Science and Honours degree through the University of Southern Queensland. She has worked as a researcher and consultant for over 15 years on a range of different projects including wildlife surveys, wildlife relocations, environmental and wildlife impacts, feral animal and weed species management, revegetation and native plant species identification. Most recently her interests have been in sustainable agriculture, water management, groundwater use and environmental management. She is passionate about sustainable living and minimal impacts management and endeavours to find innovative and cost effective solutions to real world problems.

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