Super-battery set to disrupt the Australian electricity industry
Recently there has been a race to find an innovative “super-battery” that is able to the electricity demands of the digital age at a cheaper cost to the consumer, while at the same time having less of an impact on the environment. This has been brought on, in large part, due to the rising cost of electricity and the increasing awareness of Australians to the impact of electricity on the environment. In the last 10 years, Australian electricity prices have increased by a staggering average of 72%. Australians have also become more environmentally conscious, with more Australian households installing solar panels on their rooftops and approximately 80% of the Australian population believing in the effects of climate change.
These trends highlight the dire need that we have to find more easily accessible and environmentally sustainable battery options— a need that has driven the demand for scientists to experiment with renewable energy battery storage technology. These renewable super-batteries will revolutionise the way that electricity is distributed, by providing the potential for more affordable electric cars, cheaper and more widely available electricity and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
What is the Powerwall? And what makes it significant?
The Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery by Tesla Motors. Essentially, the Powerwall battery allows you to store the solar energy generated from rooftop solar panels, for when households require it.
This product is significant as it offers unparalleled savings, particularly in places of high electricity costs and high levels of solar, such as Australia. The issue with the current regime of solar electricity is that the average electricity usage is during the morning and the evening, not during the middle of the day when solar energy is plentiful. This means that homes and businesses without a battery sell their excess solar to energy companies during the day that they then have to purchase back in the mornings and evenings.
Powerwall bridges this gap between renewable energy supply and demand by making the solar energy you collect, available for when you need it most.
This combination of rooftop solar and lithium-ion battery storage is now cheaper than the electricity grid, and results in a reduction of carbon emissions. It is foreseeable that this product will facilitate in taking many Australians homes and businesses off the grid by using their own generated solar power.
How is Australia preparing for the Powerwall?
The Clean Energy Council has begun work on creating an Australian Standard for batteries, and guidelines for proper quality control and the recycling or disposal of storage systems.
Extensive research is also being done on the technical and economic barriers of battery storage for the development of a Consumer Guide to Battery Storage – a project funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The Clean Energy Council will further be working on developing pro-storage policies targeted at Australian politics, in order to persuade policy makers to encourage energy storage within households and businesses across Australia.