(Australian Associated Press)
Australians grappling with soaring power prices are turning to home battery systems, with the market looking set to treble by the end of 2017, a solar industry monitor says.
Research shows that more than 7000 home battery systems were installed across Australia in the first half of 2017, already surpassing the 6500 installations during 2016 , SunWiz said in its report released on Wednesday.
The price of batteries has fallen five per cent since January due to increased competition among wholesalers, but it’s likely that surging power costs have led to the increase in sales rather than the marginal price drop.
Australians are now able to save enough money on power bills to pay back the cost of a small battery of five kilowatt hours within a decade.
Those living in Adelaide and Brisbane, where power prices are more expensive, could save enough to pay off the units in just six years, report author Warwick Johnston says.
“Once we hit a tipping point in payback time, the sales of household batteries will skyrocket, becoming as common as the backyard swimming pool is today in the years ahead,” Mr Johnston said on Wednesday.
“We are already seeing extraordinary growth in the Australian battery market despite little change in the price point.”
Sales in 2017 look set to double by the end of December, with a likely 13-fold increase on 2016, Mr Johnston says.
NSW has had the most battery installations in the nation with 21 per cent, followed by Queensland at 18 per cent and Victoria at 12 per cent.
The majority of household batteries are being sold in combination with a rooftop solar system, rather than to customers who already have solar at home, SunWiz says.
Growth in industrial-sized storage projects is also soaring, with 156 megawatt hours of storage slated for 2017 – dwarfing the 11MWh installed in 2016.