Record for batteries as home energy systems top 250,000

Australians won't need a neighbourhood nuclear reactor or new hydro dam to generate and store energy, according to an annual battery market report.

"You just need solar panels and a battery," SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston said on Tuesday, releasing an annual Australian battery market report.

"Nor do you need an oil well or petrol station to power your car - a growing number of electric vehicle owners fuel their cars with solar energy, and are looking forward to the day their car can also help power their homes," he said.

A record 57,000 battery systems were installed in Australian homes in 2023 - up 21 per cent on the previous year, the annual tally showed.

A record 656 megawatt/hours of residential battery capacity came online in 2023, along with a record-breaking level of installations in businesses of 402MW/h.

Big batteries totalled a record 1410MW/h of capacity installed as more states turn to energy storage to better manage the evolving electricity grid.

Home batteries, or home energy storage systems, soak up excess solar energy during the day to be used in the evening and overnight, particularly for charging electric cars. 

This helps households avoid high peak electricity prices and make the most of their solar power assets.

Despite a massive year for grid-scale storage, and an even bigger 2024 to come, home energy storage systems remain the largest cumulative source of battery capacity - for now.

"The economic value of batteries is also increasing as the gap widens between what power companies charge for electricity and what they pay for Australian home owners’ excess solar energy," Mr Johnston said. 

Batteries also provide security against localised blackouts, which are increasing in frequency from damaging extreme weather, due to climate change, he said.

Already the world's leading rooftop solar nation per capita, there was one energy storage system installation for every six solar system installations.

The cumulative number of home energy storage systems installed in Australia has topped 250,000, totalling 2770MW/h, SunWiz said.

Grid-scale, homes and businesses combined, almost 6000MW/h of battery storage has been installed since 2015, the report found.

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