Does Battery Storage Help Or Hurt The Environment?

an eco-warrior dreaming about a powerwall

If you want to save the environment and have limited funds, then buying batteries should not be a priority.

Millions of Australians have installed rooftop solar to help the environment and save money.

Many are hoping home battery storage will soon let them do the same.

The cost of home energy storage is falling rapidly and it may not be long before it pays for itself.  But at its current price it will not save money, even under favourable circumstances, when used on-grid.  Despite this, there have been hundreds, or possibly thousands, of people who have installed home battery systems because they want to help the environment.

Have these people  made a horrible mistake? [Read more…]

The Truth About Battery Ready Solar Systems

Do you want your new solar system to be battery ready? First you have to know what that means...

Do you want your new solar system to be ‘battery ready’? First you have to know what that actually means…

Most homeowners I speak to are really keen to get batteries.

Just not right now.

They want to wait a few years until the price has come down substantially. And who can blame them when a typical battery system in 2016 has a payback of 20 years but only carries a 10 year warranty.

So clued up homeowners looking to buy solar are really keen to get a system that they can easily add batteries to in the future.

Solar companies have caught on to this and we are starting to see solar systems sold without batteries but advertised as ‘battery ready’.

Here at SolarQuotes we are getting more and more questions about what ‘battery ready’ actually means in these adverts, and the best way to buy a solar system that really is battery ready.

The truth is that ‘battery ready’ can mean lots of things. Many of the ads I have seen are technically correct – in that you can add batteries in the future – but probably not as easily, or with the functionality that many people will be expecting.

In my opinion if you are going to claim a specific solar system as battery ready then you must be more specific and explain the basis on which you are making the claim.

In this post I’ll go through 3 different interpretations of ‘battery ready’  – make sure you understand which one you are being offered. [Read more…]

Australia to lead world in solar and battery storage: report

solar and batteries

Solar & Batteries will be installed in half of all Aussie homes, sooner than you think.

How long before solar and battery storage becomes the cheapest way to access electricity in Australia? A decade? Twenty? Thirty years?

Only three years according to a new report from the Climate Council, which also found that an expected half of all Australian households will soon have solar and battery storage. Should this eventuate, it would mean a stunning 50-fold increase over the next ten years with a potential worth of around $24 billion. [Read more…]

We ask five experts: Will battery storage change the way we live?

In the first of a series from SolarQuotes, we ask five eminent experts in the clean energy field to discuss four questions on a selected topic. This month we’ve selected “battery storage” as the launching pad for some fascinating discussion and advice.

Solar and battery storage has been one of the clean energy talking points of 2015 following the dramatic unveiling of the Powerwall by Tesla’s Elon Musk. However as we’ve seen, the Powerwall isn’t the only option out there in the marketplace and the best battery storage option will differ depending on your situation whether on-grid, off-grid or hybrid solar.

With this in mind we’ve asked our experts what these battery storage breakthroughs mean for Australian households and small businesses and what the future holds for energy independence. [Read more…]

Solar Battery Storage Explained [Infographic]

I’ve written about hybrid solar and off grid solar systems before, but Tesla’s latest announcement about its new PowerWall battery is a real game changer for solar battery storage affordability – Morgan Stanley has a report that attests to this in greater detail. For those of you that don’t feel like slogging through an in-depth report, I’ve summarised the important distinctions between Hybrid and Off-Grid solar systems below. Enjoy!

infographic explaining solar battery storage

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Tesla’s Powerwall solar battery: Revolutionary? A damp squib? Or somewhere in between?

Will the Powerwall change everything?

Will the Powerwall change everything?

Well the release of Tesla’s Powerwall solar battery this week really made waves didn’t it? At a glittering announcement, the company launched the much-lauded new generation in clean energy storage with the type of glitz and glamour unseen since Barack and Michelle first pulled on a boot.

The battery, which as its name suggests may be installed on the wall of a house, is available in either a ten or seven kilowatt hour capacity at a cost of either $US3500 or $US3000. The Powerwall will be available in the northern hemisphere summer and pre orders are now being taken according to the company. [Read more…]

An Off Grid Solar System Can Pay For Itself But Can’t Beat On Grid Solar

Ronald's parents

Lot’s of folks are wondering if it is time to leave the grid.

Home energy storage has gained a lot of attention recently and there are many people who think  making homes independent from the grid by using batteries to store electricity from rooftop solar is an idea whose time has finally come.

So will home energy storage soon be like rooftop solar in that it will pay for itself and be used in homes across the nation, or is it like a porn star?  Always coming, but probably not something you would actually want in your house.

To gauge its prospects I decided to investigate whether or not a household that is well suited for energy storage could save money right now by installing an off grid solar system.  And entirely through good fortune and not at all because I am too lazy to bother doing real research, my parents just happen to fit into this category.  If they can’t save money by going off grid then probably no one can. [Read more…]

Solar will be the dominant energy source by 2050 (thanks to batteries)

solar battery

Batteries are getting 15% cheaper every year.

More evidence emerged this week of the imminent arrival of the solar storage revolution. First was a report by the Deutsche Bank, the latest to predict that solar will become the dominant energy source by 2050, displacing other traditional energy such as fossil fuels.

“Over the next 20 years, we expect the electricity market to double to $US4 trillion and expect the solar industry to increase by a factor of 10. During this timeframe, the solar industry is expected to generate $5 trillion of cumulative revenue,” said the report.

[Read more…]

How To Divert Your Excess Solar PV to a Hot Water Cylinder.

a diversion sign

Is it worth investing in a system that will divert your excess solar electricity away from the grid and into your hot water system?

This guest blog post has been written by experienced solar installer, electrician, solar company owner and all round good guy, Mark Cavanagh from MC Electrical in Brisbane.

Mark answers a really common question we are getting here at SolarQuotes: “Can I divert my excess solar energy into my hot water cylinder instead of selling it to the grid for a pittance?”

Take it away Mark:

With the reduction of the solar feed in tariff across Australia, and battery storage not economically viable yet, there has been an ever-increasing interest in developing ways to use the electricity you produce rather than feeding it back to the grid for 8c per kWh. [Read more…]

Solarmax Inverter Bankruptcy: What it means for Solarmax owners.

solarmax logo

Solarmax have gone bust.

Bad news for fans of Solarmax inverters as its parent company, Sputnik Engineering, has just filed for insolvency.

Solarmax are a 20 year old Swiss inverter manufacturer who made fantastic quality inverters at a great price. It seems, with hindsight, that the price was a little too great!

If you were considering buying a Solarmax, then you should probably change brands so that your warranty is with a solvent manufacturer. Go for a big brand like SMA, Fronius, Sungrow, ABB, Zeversolar, Delta, Enphase or Solarbridge (feel free to leave any big brands I’ve missed out in the comments!)

If you already have a Solarmax on your home, then don’t panic! [Read more…]