Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath
Australia has been named as one of the first markets – along with North America – that will receive deliveries of Tesla’s much anticipated Powerwall residential battery storage system.
Tesla said on Thursday that it would be launching its 7kWh home energy storage units in Australia in late 2015, alongside North America and the DACH market in Europe, through a “growing list” of Tesla Energy partners. This is ahead of previous predictions of 2016.
One of those partners in Australia will be Canberra-based Reposit Power, which is rolling out a series of trials enabling households with solar and storage to trade energy during the day. Reposit announced in May that its technology would be integrated with the Tesla battery storage unit.
The California-based EV maker describes Australia as a core market for its Tesla Energy products, because of its high electricity costs and excellent solar resources, and the structure of its tariffs.
The Tesla launch earlier this year created a buzz of excitement around the world, and has already brought other manufacturers into the Australian market, and triggered a fall in battery storage prices. Some analysts say battery storage will be a mass market product by 2020, others say it could be before then.
UBS this week noted that households will play a central role in the move to a high renewable energy grid, because of the potential of battery storage to help consumers and grid operators.
Labor is pushing for a 50 per cent renewables target by 2030, although new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull describes this as “reckless”. The Greens want a much higher target, but the Nationals has rebuked any member who wants to support renewable energy, despite its popularity in the public.
Tesla, in its latest press release, says its daily cycling lithium-ion Powerwall battery is a compelling option for Australian households with rooftop solar, “due to the unique structure of retail electricity and the feed-in-tariff solar pricing options across the country.”
The biggest markets for battery storage in Australia will be those areas that pay little for the output from solar arrays to the grid. This includes all new installations, and in areas like NSW, where 160,000 households will lose their solar premium tariffs at the end of 2016.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts 33GWh of storage in Australia within 20 years, accompanied by 37GW of rooftop solar.
Tesla has also announced an upgraded battery capacity of 3.3kW, continuous and peak, that will allow solar customers to store the energy they generate during peak sunlight hours and use it at night, rather than drawing electricity from the grid.
Additional products supplied by Tesla Energy will include the 10kWh weekly cycle Powerwall which is compatible for residential back-up power and the Powerpack, a commercial and utility solution, grouping 100kWh battery blocks to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh+.
Reprinted with permission.
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