Many households and businesses already attach battery storage to their clean energy systems. Now is the time to grow the industry, encourage the take-up of storage and help make Australia a renewable energy leader. With public interest high, now is the time for a targeted, five-year support package to drive down costs and put battery storage in reach of every household and business.
Battery storage will allow consumers to lower costs and use more of their own renewable energy. Battery storage has many other benefits including the enabling off-grid communities and facilities, utility scale storage to assist in grid management and the use of electric vehicles as storage.
Powering up battery storage
To encourage the take up of battery storage by households, the Greens will introduce a 50 per cent refundable tax credit for individuals to assist with the cost of household solar energy storage systems. A grant scheme is also available for those on low incomes. Up to 1.2 million homes could be supported over the five years of the program.
Business investment in battery storage will be supported by shortening the length of time in which battery storage assets can be depreciated for tax purposes. Up to 30,000 businesses could be supported over the next four years. Both programs will be funded by savings from the reform of accelerated depreciation concessions for fossil fuels intensive industries
With the costs of battery storage predicted to decrease rapidly over the next decade we envisage the policy will only be necessary for five years.i The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will conduct a review of the policy in 2020.
Battery storage can reduce network peaks and troughs by storing electricity during off-peak times and discharging it during the peak. Household imports from the grid may increase during the night and reduce during the peak when this electricity is used. It also reduces the amount of electricity that is exported to the grid from rooftop solar during the middle of the day. This has the capacity to significantly reduce variability. This reduction in variability may drive down electricity prices because ramp rates will be better regulated.
Batteries also have the capacity to assist network ancillary services and act as a source of back-up power for the grid.
Off the grid
For many small and regional communities that rely on generators the benefits of battery storage are significant as solar is already competitive with the costs of diesel or gas.