In the last two years, the residential battery storage market in Australia has exploded with many vendors launching products, massive media coverage, and great consumer interest. Now that significant numbers of systems are being installed, it is possible to go beyond the hype and look at the key drivers for prospective consumers, and the barriers that will need to be addressed for a similar uptake of this technology at a wider scale. Whilst many studies in Australia suggest that the current price and warranted lifetime of residential battery systems mean their economics are marginal at best, such investigations tend to be based on an ‘average’ household, and lack the fidelity needed to understand the benefits of batteries over a diverse range of energy usage patterns. A much more thorough analysis shows that, today, there are significant numbers of consumers for whom a residential battery can offer a positive economic return. Having fielded thousands of detailed enquiries regarding the purchase of a residential battery system, the authors have gained great insight into the decision processes of consumers when investigating such a system. Although the economic benefits offered by such a system are important, it is clear that many battery installations are based on a broader range of considerations than the economic returns — from the ‘bill shock’ induced by recent tariff changes to the emotional benefits of being associated with the latest technology, or dissatisfaction with incumbent energy providers. The presentation will provide a full breakdown of the key factors driving the uptake of residential battery systems in Australia, based on real data from an operating installation business. As the number of installations grows, there are emerging several barriers that must be addressed to avoid any limitation to the broader uptake of this technology. Cost is one issue. Critically though, not so much the cost of the battery cells themselves, but of the broader system and installation. Furthermore, no matter how cheap the cells become, regulatory issues may also impact the system economics and consumer attitudes. Nonetheless, residential battery storage makes sense — it promises huge benefits to both the electricity system and individual consumers. The aim of this presentation is to assist the entire battery industry to gain a more detailed understanding of (i) the key drivers behind the uptake of the technology, (ii) consumers’ preferences, and (iii) the barriers that will need to be overcome before the great promise of residential energy storage is fully realized.
Evergen Pty Ltd
Integrated Energy Advisor
Rebecca Lewis graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), majoring in Biology. She received Honours Class 1 for her research in preventative hormone treatment for a rare form of hereditary cancer. Rebecca has a passion for science and research, especially in any area relating to the environment. She is currently working as an Integrated Energy Advisor Evergen, an Australian energy services startup company.
Director - Grids and Energy Efficiency Program
Glenn Platt is an entrepreneur, technology leader and researcher in the renewable energy and clean technology space. Glenn has spun out several businesses working with solar, batteries and clean technologies, and leads the Grids and Energy Efficiency program within CSIRO’s Energy Flagship.
Glenn is a graduate of Harvard Business School, holds PhD and electrical engineering degrees from the University of Newcastle Australia, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Prior to CSIRO, Glenn worked in Denmark with Nokia Mobile Phones on the standardisation and application of cutting-edge mobile communications technology. Before his time in Denmark, Glenn was employed in an engineering capacity for various Australian engineering consultancies, working on industrial automation and control projects.
Glenn is a Vincent Fairfax Fellow, and a recipient of the Australian Financial Review Young Executive of the year award.