The Australian energy storage market is on the rise, as households turn to batteries to avoid ever increasing electricity tariffs.
This is the major takeaway from a new report published by IHS, Energy Storage Intelligence Service, which has tracked the Australian energy storage market and found it has grown from less than 500 installations at the end of 2015 to already more than 5,000 systems in 2016.
Unsurprisingly, this sudden increase has resulted in Australia becoming one of the top five distributed energy storage markets in the world, following behind the United States, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Just earlier this month, Sunverge Energy attracted a $36.5 million round of investment for battery storage in Australia from the country’s largest publicly traded energy retailer, AGL.
So it should come as no surprise that IHS is predicting Australia’s behind-the-meter residential and commercial storage installations will double each year between 2016 and 2018, exceeding 200 MW of installed power (compared to less than 3 MW at the end of 2015) capable of storing 250 MWh of electricity. Furthermore, IHS predicts that more than 30,000 Australian homes will have solar PV + energy storage systems by 2018.
“Major international storage suppliers are now competing to grab market share in Australia,” said Marianne Boust, principal analyst for IHS Technology. “In particular, US-based Tesla has ambitious plans, signing several partnership agreements with well-known solar retailers and established utilities; however, Sunverge, LG Chem and other suppliers are also vying for a leading position in this market..”
Australia’s energy storage market has definitely been helped by the launch of Tesla’s Powerwall home battery, raising awareness for the technology and benefits therein, and paving the way for many other companies to join in the burgeoning market.
“An intense competitive environment is emerging, linked to the rapid growth that this market offers,” Boust said.
IHS also highlight the changing landscape of Australian utilities:
With growth rising, utilities that have long battled solar-PV growth are now shifting gears to distribute home-based storage solutions. In recent years Australian energy retailers Origin Energy, Energy Australia and AGL suffered from flat or shrinking electricity sales, high churn rates, and lack of visibility in the regulatory framework in the energy sector; however, solar and energy storage now offers substantial growth opportunities for these companies.
“In a bold move, Australian energy retailer AGL just announced it had acquired a minority stake in US storage vendor Sunverge and is now the exclusive channel partner for sales of Sunverge’s energy storage systems in Australia,” Boust said.