Panasonic will start to sell energy storage solutions to Australian power companies like Red Energy and ActewAGL this October, according to recent reports. Like Tesla’s energy storage products, built around Panasonic cells, they are lithium-ion batteries. Panasonic energy storage solutions will be available in New Zealand as well.
“Power companies in Australia are faced with dropping sales as the installation of solar panels expand and yet they still need to maintain the grids. We have been exploring ways to work together to benefit both users and retailers of electricity,” explained Katsufumi Miyamato, a Panasonic manager.
Australia reportedly has over one million homes with solar panels. It seems the adding of more solar panels has created much greater interest in energy storage, which is only natural. Additionally, having the ability to store electricity generated by solar panels for the times when sunlight isn’t available makes solar power much more attractive.
In fact, Kane Thornton, CEO of the Clean Energy Council estimated that there are about 1,000-2,000 battery storage systems currently in Australia. The largest power producer in Australia, AGL Energy Ltd., announced recently it would be offering a 6 kilowatt-hour battery storage system for homes sometime fairly soon.
A fascinating comment was made about renewable energy and energy storage there. “As home batteries come on the market from as early as next year, people will be able to store power from their solar panels during the day then use it in the evening when demand on the network is greatest. This will reduce the load on the network, cutting power prices not just for solar panel owners but for everyone.”
We often hear that renewable energy is better for the environment, but very rarely about the potential to decrease consumers costs within a grid network.
Sometimes in the American press, the idea that consumer costs will rise is floated because some American utilities want consumers to pay more due to home solar power installations, in order to not lose “too much” of their own profits. Perhaps when energy storage adoption increases, network loads will be decreased as the article mentions (such as peak loads) and some consumer savings will result.
Image Credit: Petra, Wiki Commons