Australians are amped about batteries

A new poll has found that most Australians expect batteries, which store renewable electricity, to be a key foundation for affordable, reliable energy.

The Reachtel poll found that 74% of people polled from across Australia expect household batteries to be commonplace in homes in the next decade. When asked what is the key motivation for adding a battery to rooftop solar power systems, over half said to “reduce power bills”.

“Australians love rooftop solar, and most now expect home battery storage to be as commonplace as dishwashers in our homes in a decade,” said Amanda McKenzie, chief executive, the Climate Council.

“Rising energy prices and a lack of a Federal energy plan are driving many people to take back control of energy. We’re getting smart to the fact that our energy system is changing.”

More than a third (38%) of the respondents said they already own rooftop solar and 68% of those people would consider adding a battery to their solar power set-up.

As well as the acceptance for smart energy storage in the home, the poll also explored the public’s understanding of the role of large-scale energy storage; like the world’s largest battery being rolled out in South Australia by Tesla. The majority polled (55%) thought large-scale batteries like this would be commonplace in a decade too.

More than half of those polled (52%) now understand that large-scale energy storage enables wind and solar to provide power 24/7, on demand.

When asked what is the key benefit that large-scale batteries deliver, Australians said:

  • 25% making our energy system more reliable
  • 24% making our electricity cheaper
  • 19% making our system more efficient

“Battery storage actually solves many problems – from storing excess energy, smoothing out spikes in demand and re-dispatching power during peak load times – to improving reliability.
It is encouraging to see that the public already has a solid grasp of the vital role of storage for a clean, affordable energy system,” 40-year energy veteran, and Climate Councillor, Andrew Stock, said.

The combination of rising energy prices and the plunging cost of lithium-ion batteries have created a tipping point for Australia’s use of battery storage,” Stock added.

Amanda McKenzie highlighted that the poll shows that the Government’s notion of investing in ageing and new coal and gas-fired power stations, is out of step with public attitudes.

“It’s clear that Australians are on board with using smart 21st century technology to cut costs, improve efficiency and reliability. We are the sunniest country in the world and one of the windiest, we also have significant lithium resources, Australia can be an energy powerhouse.”

Dr Matt Stocks, a Research Fellow at the Australian National University, said:

“There is an increasing understanding that storage plays a key role in modernising our energy system. This is in-line with our modelling that shows that wind and solar photovoltaics, along with pumped hydro storage and improved transmission, can deliver emissions free electricity 24/7 – at costs lower than what the National Energy Market delivers today”.

The national ReachTel survey of 1,928 Australians was completed on the 28th August 2017 and commissioned by the Climate Council.

Source: Climate Council

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