Technical Articles

GSES communicates factual, up-to-date and evidence-based information for publication. This includes information on the issues surrounding DC circuit breakers, earthing fundamentals, how to sell solar, and information on isolator enclosures.

Residential energy storage: Are we ready?

The rise of residential batteries

In the past year we have seen the first significant uptake of Grid Connected Battery (GCB) systems in Australia. In years gone by, batteries were used for standalone systems that were far from any poles and wires, i.e. in areas with no access to the electricity grid. However, we now see new products continuously being released, battery prices are on the decline and, according to the AEMC report on 2015 Residential Electricity Price Trends, grid electricity prices are predicted to continue to rise.

The AEMC report predicts the yearly increase in electricity price, averaged over three years from July 2015, will range from zero change in VIC to 6.2% in WA. Figure 2 (see PDF below) shows the yearly growth for each year reported.  This means that the payback period for GCB systems will continue to reduce, but as Renew Economy included in its article on the UBS Utlilties Sector Report in September 2015, lithium-ion battery systems are not likely to achieve economically viable payback periods, i.e. 5 to 6 years, until 2020. So for now, we assume that those people installing GCB systems are the ‘early adopters’ who want to avoid any sudden spike in electricity price or are strong supporters of renewable energy.

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