Half of Australian homes to adopt solar power and move ‘off grid’ from 2018

Australians will be able to use solar panels and batteries to cheaply produce and store electricity within three years, in a “dramatic” development that is expected to revolutionise the nation’s power generation.
A report by The Climate Council, a non-government organisation, found that improvements in battery technology could make homemade electricity cheaper than buying it within three years and could allow half of the nation to start moving “off the grid”.
Australia already has the highest rate of household solar panel use in the world. About 15 per cent of homes have panels installed, roughly double the rate in Belgium, which is believed to have the second highest usage.
The panels have led to big electricity savings for the 1.4 million householders who have installed them, but only about 500 people currently have batteries to store the solar power.
The Climate Council said the cost of producing lithium-ion batteries will fall “dramatically” in the coming years and that each battery’s capacity will grow 50-fold within a decade.
It said a household which spent £5,000 on a battery would make back the money within ten years and that, at such a cost, about half the nation could start adopting solar panels with battery systems.
“By 2018, going off-grid by installing battery storage could be cost-competitive with staying connected as the price of battery storage falls and grid electricity remains expensive,” the council’s report said.
“Together with rooftop solar, battery storage presents an opportunity for Australian households to use a much greater proportion of the solar photovoltaic electricity they generate and minimise the need to purchase expensive electricity from the grid.”
The United States firm Tesla is planning to release a lithium ion battery which is expected to cost less than £2,600 and will be available in Australia – one of the first foreign markets to receive it – by the end of the year.



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