News: Small battery uptick

Recent figures from the Clean Energy Regulator, outlining the uptake in Australia of small-scale battery storage, reveal a 914% increase (693 to 7032 units) from 2014 to 2018. The figures represent voluntary disclosure of new system installations, and don’t account for those not disclosed nor those that may have been retrofitted, so the real figures are likely to be higher. And although battery system uptake only constitutes 2.5% of total PV systems installed in Australia last year, this is still just over double what was installed in 2016 (1.18%).

On the back of this sort of interest in storage batteries and sales growth, alongside nation-leading renewable energy policy and targets, and incentives promised by both major parties, German battery manufacturer Sonnen will be setting up a manufacturing plant in South Australia and moving its current Sydney headquarters to Adelaide. This will not only create around 400 jobs, but will also provide a cheaper battery storage option for the local market, using locally sourced components (apart from the cells, which are manufactured in Japan) and eliminating the significant cost currently tied up in shipping complete battery units from China or Germany. Sonnen hopes the SA plant will be established and producing its first batteries by the end of this year.
www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au, www.bit.ly/2Ftj0Uw

Year ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Total
2014 8 208 3 129 34 5 137 169 693
2015 3 133 1 186 21 6 163 24 537
2016 105 667 6 331 130 18 240 70 1567
2017 183 1742 16 773 445 90 686 204 4139
2018 7 38 0 26 12 0 9 4 96
Total 306 2788 26 1445 642 119 1235 471 7032

New solar PV systems with battery storage by year and state/territory as at 31/1/2018. Note that RET certificates can be created up to 12 months after installation, so 2017+ figures will rise.