Waiting for guarantees and missing the boat

The Guardian had recently alluded to how the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) may be revived after the Federal Elections with state governments pushing for energy policy certainty.

 From South Australia looking to achieve 100 percent of their energy supply from renewables to the NSW Energy Minister, Matt Kean, declaring his support for the NEG, we are seeing a new resolve towards breaking the cycle of uncertainty that governs the energy market and impacts on electricity prices.

 While we wait for policy certainty to become a reality, state governments have already taken the matter into their own hands when it comes to reducing our reliance on grid electricity. Through the rollout of home battery subsidy and interest-free loan schemes in VictoriaSouth Australia and Queensland, we’ve seen incredible success in the uptake of energy storage.

 Subsidies are not the only driver for the uptake of batteries

 I’ve always appreciated the stories about why homeowners think home batteries are great. From grandparents who see their investment in energy storage as a way of reducing their carbon footprint for the benefit of their grandchildren and future generations, to a retiree who could no longer afford the crippling price of an essential service such as power.

 We’ve seen countless models, proposals and viewpoints on why home batteries make sense -- but there are some influencers who are still not convinced about the payback period for installing batteries and why it is now feasible to own batteries.

 If not now, when?

 A journal published in the Renewable Energy Journal by Vanika Sharma, a PhD student at UniSA investigated the benefits of having solar panels and energy storage.

 In an interview with PV Magazine Australia, Mrs Sharma said taking generation, load factors, battery costs and energy prices into consideration, the research showed it was worth investing in home batteries now with the trend towards increasing energy prices. With subsidy programs playing a role in making systems more cost-effective, homeowners shouldn’t play the waiting game.

 Don’t miss out New South Wales

 Every battery subsidy program has always been well received. The Queensland grant scheme for home batteries closed in June with a strong uptake from households. Solar Victoria recently reopened the Solar Battery Rebate on 1 July and it has already received 160 applications out of 200 subsidies that will be available before 31 October.

 The time has also finally come for New South Wales as it looks to offer an interest-free loan of up to $9,000 to each homeowner for up to 300,000 households to install home batteries.

 Let’s not sit in a perpetual waiting game for when we think would be the perfect time. What Sharma’s modelling work proves is that the right time is now.

by Nathan Dunn

CEO APAC/Managing Director sonnen Australia Pty Ltd

Published: 13/07/2019