A record amount of home battery installations in Victoria in 2021 was not enough to deliver another year of growth for the Australian market, with the total of more than 33,000 installations charting a small decline on 2020’s numbers.
The latest data from solar and storage market analyst SunWiz puts the cumulative total of home batteries installed around Australia at 140,000, or 2657MWh of residential energy storage capacity.
The slight slowdown in annual installs suggests a continued focus on rooftop solar to cut household energy costs during the pandemic – the cumulative number of residential rooftop solar systems passed the 3 million-mark in November of last year.
The SunWiz report also notes an 8% PV attachment rate, which means that a relatively small percentage of new rooftop solar systems installed in 2021 included a battery – down from 12% in 2017.
As SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston notes, one of the key barriers to uptake remains that home batteries can still take a long time to pay for themselves, even with subsidies and particularly in comparison with solar panels.
Ongoing global supply chain problems mean it’s unlikely that the financial equation for home energy storage will become any more attractive over the course of 2022, but SunWiz expects the market to hold steady.
“Australians want to make the most of their solar panels and make sure they have access to cheap, clean energy around the clock,” Johnston said.
“We expect new installations to continue, even as financial subsidies wind down, which tells us Australians want to take charge of their own electricity.
“We’ve also seen significant growth in non-residential, grid-scale batteries, which will help cheap, deliver reliable energy across the country.
“With more households, communities and businesses investing in battery storage, Australians can be sure they have a modern energy system while also saving money.”
On a state by state basis, Victoria, whose government offers a home battery rebate of up to $3,500 for eligible households, led the market for the year and charted a record amount of 9569 installations, or 32% of the nation’s total.
SunWiz found that a reduction in the South Australian subsidy led to a slight contraction in that state and put it in third place for number of installations, overtaken by NSW, where 7,277 new batteries were installed for the year.
The report puts the average size of home batteries being installed at 10.9kWh, which is the same as in 2020 and just slightly up on 2019, as the chart below illustrates.