Australia is cementing its place as one of the principal markets for the deployment of battery storage. The latest indication of this trend comes from IHS Technology, which published analysis today tipping the market to grow steeply in 2016 through 2018.
From 5,000 systems deployed in 2015, IHS says that it expects the market to double each year between 2016 and 2018. IHS, accordingly, forecasts installed capacity to increase from 3 MW at the end of 2015, to 200 MW 2018’s close – reaching a storage capacity of 250 MWh.
IHS reports that suppliers are currently jostling for position in the Australian storage market. "In particular," adds IHS analyst Marianne Boust, "U.S.-based Tesla has ambitious plans, signing several partnership agreements with well-known solar retailers and established utilities; however, Sunverge, LG Chem, and other suppliers are also vying for a leading position in this market.
Tesla announced the installation of its first system in Australian in January, and noted in its Q4 2015 earnings call that along with Germany; the Australian market is a priority for its stationary storage business. IHS notes that Tesla’s "far-reaching marketing campaign" has been important in increasing awareness in the market about battery storage.
Family-owned solar installation company Springer Solar, based in Queensland, told pv magazine that the all of the householders he speaks with are aware of battery storage, although many are unwilling to pay high prices.
"They all want it but do not want to pay and are waiting for the Tesla solution, which is viewed as inexpensive," said Springer Solar’s Managing Director Joe Springer. "Enphase has a house load monitoring built into its system, the Envoy S. We advise that the client have an Enphase system installed and Springer, along with the customer, can collect the data from their house and solar system to size a battery system perfectly suited to their usage."
IHS notes that while Australian utilities have long been largely antagonistic towards solar, retailers such as Origin Energy, Energy Australia, and AGL are viewing solar plus storage as offering "substantial growth opportunities."
"In a bold move, Australian energy retailer AGL just announced it had acquired a minority stake in U.S. storage vendor Sunverge and is now the exclusive channel partner for sales of Sunverges energy storage systems in Australia," IHS’ Boust said.
IHS has published its findings regarding the Australian storage market in its latest Energy Storage Intelligence Service market brief.