Store and deliver: Energy storage market heats up

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The energy storage sector is heating up. Lance Turner takes a quick look at where the industry is heading.

A decade ago, seeing solar panels on homes was a rare occurrence, yet now you will find them on more than one million Australian homes. Indeed, solar has become completely mainstream, no longer just for greenies and those living remotely.

While solar power works well to reduce dependence on the grid at peak times, the recent or pending removal of decent feed-in tariffs for many solar owners has meant that many are now looking at energy storage. A battery system means that system owners can reduce their low-valued exports to the grid and instead store the energy for later use, offsetting expensive grid imports, and potentially saving money, or at least shifting the balance towards greater self-sufficiency.

Traditionally, solar battery systems have been designed to suit the individual installation, but for grid-connected storage that is no longer a requirement. All you need is a system that can store an appropriate amount of energy and be able to supply that to your house when needed—it doesn’t need to cover all demands of the home at all times.

To this end, we have seen a proliferation of domestic-oriented energy storage systems (ESS) of late. They vary in size, shape and features, but all are designed to allow the homeowner to take better control of their energy generation and use, reducing bills and, in some cases, providing a degree of backup against grid failure.

Not all systems are designed for grid backup, but this is becoming more common as manufacturers realise that customers want their systems to be as flexible as possible, even potentially allowing them to eventually go off-grid altogether.

Read the full article in ReNew 135.

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