Australia to lead world in residential battery uptake in 2019


From pv magazine Australia.

On the back of a growing number of residential battery subsidy schemes being integrated into state and territorial energy policies, Australia is emerging as the world leader in energy storage uptake. According to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Australia’s home battery fleet is set to triple this year. 

That will make the nation the world’s hottest market for residential storage, accounting for 30% of global demand.

The BNEF report predicts more than 70,000 Australian households will install batteries this year, driven by $147 million (US$104 million) worth of state government subsidies, as well as low-interest loans and demand response schemes.

“State governments in Australia are getting behind residential storage – solidifying Australia as one of the most attractive markets in the world,” stated the report.

Policies boosting uptake

Australia’s biggest battery subsidy program was launched in South Australia last year. The state’s landmark $100 million Home Battery Scheme, which will subsidize the cost of buying a home energy storage system for up to 40,000 households, has already attracted sonnen, AlphaESS and Eguana Technologies to set up local assembly.

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Victoria has pledged a $40 million scheme to subsidize the installation of battery storage in 10,000 homes while the Australia Capital Territory has a $25 million battery subsidy scheme, launched in 2016. New South Wales has introduced a variety of energy storage initiatives, Queensland is providing battery grants for up to 1,500 households and small businesses, and Western Australia is exploring ways to boost battery uptake.

“If the federal opposition wins the election this year, a further $200 million will subsidize another 100,000 household batteries from 2020,” adds the report.

Residential battery rebates are one the most notable measures included in the “clean energy powerhouse” plan the opposition Labor Party is campaigning on in this year’s election, alongside a ramped-up National Energy Guarantee (NEG), project auctions under a contracts for difference (CfD) structure, grid infrastructure investment and energy efficiency.

A no-brainer for Aussie households

“While the path could be bumpy, BNEF expects Australia to continue to be an attractive market for residential storage after policy support ends – thanks to its high penetration of household solar – already one in five – and high electricity costs,” states the report.

The number of Australian homes with PV rooftops has passed the two million mark. The latest figures released by the Clean Energy Regulator showed there were panels on more than a fifth of Australian homes as of early December, with an average of six panels installed per minute nationally.

BNEF had already significantly raised its projection for the global deployment of distributed and grid-scale batteries up to 2040 amid rapidly falling costs, placing Australia among nine markets that will drive the sector’s growth to a cumulative 942 GW and 2,857 GWh output.

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