Record 57,000 Battery Energy Storage Systems Installed in Australian Homes Last Year

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More than 250,000 energy storage systems have been installed in Australia overall.

A record 57,000 battery energy storage systems were installed in Australian homes in 2023, according to new data.

Storage market analyst SunWiz revealed a 21 percent surge in battery system installations compared to 2022.

In total, more than 250,000 battery storage systems have been introduced into Australian homes in the last eight years.

Battery capacity coming online also hit 656 megawatt hours (MWH), another record according to the 2024 SunWiz Australian Battery Market report.

SunWiz Managing Director Warwick Johnston explained that the research showed batteries were “reshaping” the energy supply.

“[The year of] 2023 was the year of the big battery, with deployment levels at twice their previous record,” Mr. Johnston said.

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Mr. Johnston predicted 2024 will be an even bigger year, given the capacity under construction is six times greater than the same time last year.

“Despite the massive year for grid-scale storage, home energy storage systems still remain the largest cumulative source of battery capacity, at least for the time being,” Mr. Johnston said.

The storage market analyst revealed 254,550 battery storage systems were placed in Australian homes from 2015 to 2023, comprising 2,770 MWh of storage.

“Added to this is 593 MWh of storage at businesses and 2,603 MWh of storage at grid-scale big batteries over 10MWh. All combined, this is a total of 5,966 MWh of battery storage installed since 2015,” SunWiz said.

Smart Energy Trial Taking Place in Australia

Amid the move towards battery storage, the federal government is conducting a smart energy trial involving tens of thousands of customer devices.

More than 140,000 customer devices will be voluntarily enrolled in a scheme targeting the integration of hot water systems and solar initially, and then incorporating storage batteries and EV chargers.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) awarded $9.75 million (US$6.4 million) to Intellihub to develop a Demand Flexibility Platform in December.

This will target 510 megawatts of aggregated load “under control.”

Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Jenny McAllister said volunteered devices can be “turned on remotely” to take advantage of abundant daytime solar energy.

Further, they could be programmed to reduce demand during peak times, “lowering household energy costs.”

“Better management of these volunteered household energy devices and appliances can help balance supply and demand, while delivering real impacts on energy prices and provide wider grid stability,” she said.

Commenting on the project, ARENA Chief Executive Officer Darren Miller explained the scheme could change the way customer energy resources (CER) are monitored and controlled.

“The continued growth in CER, including hot water systems, rooftop solar, and battery storage, present the industry with both challenges and opportunities,” he said.

Mr. Miller noted without the ability to “monitor and control energy flows,” these devices can create challenges for the grid.

“However, when aggregated and controlled, these resources can provide much-needed demand flexibility, unlocking benefits for retailers, networks and consumers,” he said.

Federal Government Has 128 Renewable Projects On the Way

Meanwhile, the Albanese government recently announced it had approved 45 renewable energy projects with a further 128 on the way.

Federal Labor Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek announced a new solar farm to power 200,000 homes in central west New South Wales on March 22.

The 840-megawatt solar farm and battery energy storage system known as the Sandy Creek Solar Farm will be constructed 25 kilometres southwest of Dunedoo.

Ms. Plibersek said the government wants to “unlock Australia’s potential to be a renewable energy superpower.”

“It’s a huge task—we’re working overtime to get there. I’ve now ticked off 45 renewable energy projects with another 128 in the approvals pipeline,” she said.

“We want to unlock Australia’s potential to be a renewable energy superpower.”.

Opposition Concerned About ‘Renewable Only’ Strategy

However, the opposition has expressed concern the government’s renewable-only strategy is raising electricity prices.

Shadow Minister for Energy Affordability Melissa McIntosh pointed to the plight of a Western Sydney food charity facing closure due to their energy bills rising by $900.

“When will the minister admit that the Albanese government’s disastrous renewables-only energy policy is leading Australia in the wrong direction?” she said in a recent sitting of Parliament (pdf).

In response, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said he expected energy costs to drop soon.

“There is a lot more to do; no one should be complacent and no one should suggest there aren’t pressures in the system,” Mr. Bowen said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Dutton has confirmed the Coalition will make the case for nuclear power in Australia at the next election.

“We will. I believe it’s in the best interest of our country,” Mr. Dutton said on 2GB radio in late March.

“We need to deal with the uncertainties around supply—so we need to make sure that we can keep the lights on.”

The opposition leader noted overbuilding renewables increases prices, expressing that with ”baseload power in the energy mix like nuclear, prices are cheaper.

“Nuclear is the only proven technology which emits zero emission and firms up renewables,” he said.

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