A new report has determined that over three-quarters of the Australian solar homes that are still on a premium feed-in tariff would be glad to trade it in for the probability of upgrading their systems – and to be specific, to install battery storage.
An article on the RenewEconomy website stated that the report was based on a survey done by community group Solar Citizens. It shows that a voluntary buyout of premium feed-in tariffs would be an advantage for the uptake of battery storage in the country. It could also be a way to have three times more battery storage capacity installation than the big battery of South Australia.
Shani Tager, a Senior Campaigner with Solar Citizens, said, “We surveyed 340 solar owners on a premium tariff and found that 76 percent were interested or potentially interested in participating in a voluntary buyout.”
Tager added premium feed-in tariffs (PFiTs) are no longer the best option for the households, although PFiTs contributed largely to boosting the rooftop solar industry in Australia.
The article stated, “That is largely because the rules of the premium tariffs mean that early solar adopters – many of whom installed relatively small systems, many years ago – are unable to add more panels, and/or storage, as prices of these technologies have come down.”
A previous proposal four years ago was floated by Ergon Energy as a means of encouraging battery storage uptake to counter-balance high rooftop solar penetration and increasing network issues. But it was rejected by the Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) on the grounds that the cost would be too expensive (approximately $9,000 for each household).
The new rules state that PFiT households that have batteries will not be able to discharge batteries in the daytime and will only be allowed to do so at night or during grid outages.
“This scheme could generate up to $400 million in funding for low-income and vulnerable households to access solar, storage, and energy efficiency, providing much-needed relief to households who are feeling the pinch of high electricity prices,” Tager added.
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