As the pre solar monopoly of the energy companies starts to wind down and power returns to the consumer (sorry), there’s a lot of buzz about home batteries in Queensland and when they’re going to be viable for usage. According to the state government, Queensland has 425,000 houses connected to solar energy – the most of any state in Australia. Depending on your personal circumstances, energy storage still has a ways to go before it reaches anywhere near this number. The Queensland Energy Storage Summit met in February to discuss some of the issues pertinent to energy storage.
Queensland Energy Storage Summit Recap
An industry conference (the Queensland Energy Storage Summit) held on Wednesday February 17 provided a valuable insight into the state of energy storage in Queensland, how far we’ve come, and the steps that still need to be taken for Queenslanders to buy into the new technology.
According to the conference there were 6750 Australian solar storage installations in 2016 and this is projected to reach 20,000 in 2017 – which leaves plenty of room for industry growth. High prices and consumer concerns are some of the barriers to solar storage uptake. According to Anthony Buckwell of One Stop Warehouse (A company fully owned by GCL which is a Chinese power company), a full install of the battery, panels, and transformers is currently an $11,000 – $20,000 investment.
Supply Partners director Lliam Ricketts proposed a government scheme similar to the Green Loans program (which allowed up to $10,000 for energy products). Ricketts also suggested the government consider creating an independent resource which would be responsible for educating consumers which storage options were available, what was safe, and what to look for in an installer.
Lastly, a great point from Jill Cainey of S&C Electric who noted that the sometimes fragile power network in remote areas could be mitigated by energy storage – “Utility-owned storage will deliver energy security at the lowest cost…because of scale and the ability to manage the assets appropriately” she said.
Queensland Energy Storage Summit 2017 – Keynote Speakers
- Hon Mark Bailey, Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Queensland Government
- Ian McLeod, Chief Executive Officer, Ergon Energy
- John Phillpotts, Program Manager – Network Transformation Roadmap, CSIRO
- Dr Christine Williams, Assistant Director-General Science Division, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Queensland Government
- John Grimes, Chief Executive, Energy Storage Council