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Solar Panels in the NT

 

Solar power has become a national obsession in Australia, with the number of houses using it increasing from 0.2% in 2007 to 20% presently, totalling 2.6 million solar households in Darwin.

Subsidies and very generous rewards for power pushed into the network encouraged installations over the past 2 years. Since ‘you’re utilising the grid to store the surplus energy that your solar was providing,’ Therefore there was no practical need for the batteries at the time.

Image presented by Catarina Sousa

 

Solar Households

But, the regulator believes the massive uptake of solar across the country is an issue.

An energy expert has labelled a new plan to charge solar panel users for exporting extra power a “sun tax,” claiming it will cost solar families more than the independent statutory agency proposing the legislation correctly estimates.

All of that electricity comes in at the same time during the day for an electrical network;, a network that was put up to bring power to your residence – not take power and find a place to put it.

It’s producing ‘traffic jams’ or ‘congestions,’ as we like to call it. 

The northern territory has now reduced the amount of money that families receive for electricity, known as the ‘feed-in tariff,’ and has given incentives for equipment that is being put underneath their rooftops.

So, a complete solar battery and inverter system combines the homeowner with solar panels along with a battery allowing them to store all the electricity they generates at the end of the day.

The testing found the Samsung battery pack (along with Sony) held over 80% of initial capacity after over 2000 cycles, which is the equivalent of six years. (dcpowerco.com.au)

That’s that’s why we have batteries isnt it? Thats the aim of getting a battery.

Hopefully that’ll prove to be just as good as having that feed in tariff.

The challenge at the moment is that we’ve got more solar energy being produced than the grid needs (demand) during the limited generation period in the middle of the day.

Electricity Storage

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

 

So, if you have the ability to store energy, can you utilise it yourself at night?

Once an individual product’s price per kilowatt-hour drops below 10 cents, battery storage is likely to be a worthwhile investment for a large number of households. (solarquote.com.au)

Yes, that is the point of the game; you want to preserve all of the energy your solar panels produce and rely less on the grid network.

The network was not designed to absorb excess power and balance itself.

Battery sales are increasing five years after the first Tesla system was placed in an Australian home; 31 000 were installed last year, and there are currently 110 000 houses with batteries.

However, solar panels are still installed on fewer than 5% of all residences.

The data reveals that batteries are largely installed in new solar systems – the difficulty is: how do you persuade the millions of individuals who already have solar to invest in storage as well?

For many other other families, cost remains an impediment:

‘I’d want it to last a long time for the money that it’s going to cost me because if it’s more expensive than whatever power costs being off the grid, then it’s not really worth it for me.’

Because battery costs haven’t dropped as much as some had thought, we’re witnessing almost ‘steady’ market subsidies in the territory; this subsidised solar panel usage appears to be building up countrywide, and feed-in tariffs continue to decline.

The lifespan of the battery should also state the expected level of capacity at the end of life; for lithium batteries this will usually be about 60–80% of the original capacity. (choice.com.au)

COST OF ELECTRICITY

The industry claims it has reached a tipping point;

I believe we will see a gradual withdrawal or decrease of those feed-in tariffs, as well as tariff repricing across the country in July.

It will be fascinating to observe what individuals react – the regulator is considering fining homeowners who export electricity to the grid when the market does not want it.

The beliefe is that this will spur battery adoption since it is essentially:

  1. Wasted income for those solar households
  2. The only way for them to recoup that cash is to have a battery.

While Warwick Johnston’s house has solar panels and a battery, he’s not ready to declare a boom just yet.

Lithium batteries can be safely discharged to about 80–90% of their nominal capacity. (choice.com.au)

“I sense that there’s a tremendous future both for the solar sector and for home energy storage as well,” he says. “

“Those who’ve invested are delighted.”

“I think the batteries are the way of the future,”

he says.

 

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