Australia is a world leader in solar adoption with more than 3 million rooftop solar systems and almost one-third of Australian homes equipped with solar panels.
Regen Power managing director and renewable expert Nikhil Jayaraj said by 2025 rooftop solar capacity would surpass coal and this expansion must be accompanied by battery storage.
“In 2021, households in WA added 316MW of generation capacity to their rooftops, bringing the total residential solar capacity in the state’s main grid to over 1.35GW, according to newly released government data,” he said.
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“The dramatic increase in solar output poses challenges for WA’s power system.
“When solar energy is favoured by weather conditions, it leads to a rise in periods of excessive oversupply.
“In order to resolve this issue the WA government has introduced a rule change that allows the network operators to control the output of residential rooftop solar systems.
“This results in energy waste due to the need for solar curtailment, which occurs when a solar system shuts down or ceases exporting energy to the grid in order to counteract the energy spike.
“The good news is that residential battery storage has the potential to provide significantly greater value to consumers.
“Because it replaces not only power plant capacity but also expensive network capacity, it will result in greater improvements to both electricity reliability and affordability.”
Mr Jayaraj said the barriers to the adoption of solar storage included lack of consumer awareness of the new technology and lack of technical knowledge regarding batteries.
Regen Power managing director and Nikhil Jayaraj. Credit: supplied
“The high capital cost of batteries and the absence of financial support also hinder the adoption of energy storage,” he said.
“Installation and maintenance costs also contribute to the total price.
“Inadequate policy support and inadequate regulatory and policy measures necessitate a reappraisal of the market and regulatory arrangements for storage, including tariff design.
Mr Jayaraj said while the upfront battery costs and compatibility issues with the existing solar installations posed a challenge for the adoption of storage, the payback period is expected to decrease if battery system costs continue to decline as anticipated.
“Given proper policy support similar to residential solar installation, solar storage can lead to the evolution of the next consumer-driven technology,” he said.
“Adopting solar storage can help ensure that renewable energy continues to contribute effectively to all of …….