The Australian government has announced that it aims to accelerate the uptake of residential battery storage for solar power, Australia’s Renew Economy has reported. After a great deal of domestic and international criticism for not supporting the renewable energy and clean technology sectors, or having an adequate national emissions reduction plan, the Australian government now says it wants to bring forward the mainstream adoption of battery storage.
The Environment Minister Greg Hunt pointed out that Australia now has the highest rate of household solar in the world, and that the country is in “an ideal place to develop storage and battery technology.” In popularising battery storage, the coalition government says it wants to reduce electricity demand peaks and lower costs for household electricity consumers.
Battery storage manufacturers such as Panasonic, LG, and Kokam currently have products in Australia. Tesla Powerwall batteries are expected in a couple of months, and Enphase is to release its plug-and-play battery storage solution in Australia as well. Solar companies have long seen Australia as one of the world’s most promising solar markets, due to its copious sunshine hours, high grid electricity prices, and fast adoption of household solar. Australia already has well over a million solar systems installed, so the market is ripe to add solar power storage solutions at the household level.
The government, Labor opposition, and of course Greens are now all in support of encouraging the fast uptake of solar in Australia, so the political planets are aligning it seems. The recent political past has been rocky for the renewable energy sector. The now ousted prime minister Tony Abbott publicly and somewhat desperately proclaimed that “coal is good for humanity” in the 21st century, as the coal industry continued to tank internationally. On many occasions the Abbott government seemed to be actively working against developing clean energy in favour of coal. Could the fortunes of the renewable energy, and in particular the solar sector, be turning around again in Australia?