In recent years there has been significant improvement in energy consumption, cost savings and greater flexibility when choosing an energy source. Energy Storage Systems (ESS) in the context of renewable energy (RE) offer new potential for the photovoltaics (PV) industry. For the first time with Energy Storage Systems homeowners can not only store energy generated during the day through their PV system but can also utilise it for household needs in the evenings or peak times.
- Lower costs and smarter energy consumption
ESS enable users to regain control over their electricity costs and use power generated through the PV system for household electricity needs or storage. Ideally, homeowners can benefit from ESS during high consumption months, such as winter or summer, by maximizing the use of their PV generated electricity. Depending on the size of the installed PV system and the user’s behaviour, benefits from residential storage systems could see a monthly reduction of up to 70 percent, significantly lowering costs.
- Greater user choice and flexibility
Solar PV systems and ESS give homeowners greater independence and flexibility when choosing their power source. With high energy prices, this aspect is becoming a driving force for many energy consumers, as they can utilise electricity generated from their own PV system and store, which helps reduce dependence on electricity suppliers.
- New technology driving efficiency
Leveraging ESS is no longer an issue for small-scale solar users. New developments in lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology, means battery systems now store more energy. Thanks to cost-effective production methods they offer a good cost-performance ratio. As the price of Li-ion batteries continue to drop, ESS will become more affordable and the market will grow rapidly.
- The end of feed-in-tariffs, not all bad news
As feed-in-tariffs draw to a close, electricity prices are set to remain high, making solar PV systems with added batteries the most affordable and economical form of electricity. The lack of future incentives is not all bad news for homeowners, as they will no longer be required to feed energy back into the electricity grid but instead be able to store and use their own generated power during peak electricity times, which helps minimise costs.
5. Australia set to lead the battery storage world market
Whether it comes to the Australian Renewable Energy Act 2011 or the transformation of energy in total, one thing is clear; renewable energies are the way of the future. According to a study by the Climate Council, Australia is set to become a world leader in battery storage thanks to high electricity prices and predicts over half of all Australian homes will adopt PV systems with added batteries, providing homeowners with a payback in just 10 years.
The installation of energy storage systems for home consumption sets new standards for renewable energy and forces network grid operators to increasingly rethink their approach and to invest in new renewable energy concepts.
Changhwan Choi, is manager of Australian Business Development, at LG Chem.