Tesla has revealed it has installed upwards of 33,000 of its Powerwall home battery energy storage systems in Australia, to date, accounting for a nearly 12 per cent share of Tesla’s total global installations and marking a six-fold increase on local installation numbers since 2019.
The eye-opening numbers – illustrated in the charts below – were shared by Tesla chair Robyn Denholm at the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney on Tuesday morning.
It is the first time Tesla has shared this data.
They offer a rare insight into Tesla’s business, and establish Australia’s “very unique position” – as Denholm herself put it – of having more of its batteries in homes than it has on wheels, in the form of electric cars.
Australia’s slow start in the shift to EVs is a separate story (which you can read about here), but in her speech on Tuesday, Denholm noted that it contrasts sharply with the nation’s world-leading uptake of rooftop solar.
According to the Australian Energy Market Operator, roughly 30% of detached homes in the National Electricity Market have rooftop PV at this stage in the renewable energy transition, amounting to a whopping 15GW of distributed solar generating capacity.
And while home battery storage systems are not anywhere near meeting that solar benchmark just yet, AEMO reckons most domestic PV systems will be complemented by battery storage by 2050.
Current sky-high grid electricity prices are expected to speed that process up, as households look to maximise their solar self-consumption – although supply constraints and rising prices could serve as a temporary dampener on this uptick in demand.
For now, getting a read on the true number of battery systems installed in homes around the country can be a slippery business, with most manufacturers and some retailers reluctant to share sales figures as the market gets its footing.
To give some indication of Tesla’s share in the home battery market, however, the latest data from SunWiz reported a total of 33,000 batteries installed for the entire year Australia-wide in 2021.
According to SunWiz, that put the total of batteries installed behind the meter around Australia at 140,000 units, or 2657MWh of storage capacity, at the end of the 2021 calendar year.
Going by that number – which is sure to have grown – that gives Tesla a roughly 23 per cent market share, although the Sunwiz numbers may include commercial installations.
A big driver of Tesla’s success in the home battery storage market in Australia has been its South Australia-originated virtual power plant, which Denholm told the conference on Tuesday had a total of 21MW of registered storage with AEMO.
Denholm says the Tesla VPP – which has since expanded into New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland – is providing the same level of frequency services and capacity and critical grid support as some much larger coal generation assets.
“Orchestrated customers’ solar and home batteries are going to make up a significant portion of Australia’s dispatchable energy,” Denholm told the conference.
“So let’s bring customers on the journey with us. There is an opportunity to properly educate and incentivise customers for the use of their assets.”