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A Solar Battery Rebate for Australia?⚡Will There Be One?

Posted 31 Oct '23

When Will There be a Solar Battery Rebate Scheme?

As Home Solar Batteries become increasingly popular, it's only a matter of time until the Government releases an Australian battery rebate scheme for energy storage like we saw with the solar subsidy - will it be in 2024?

In Australia, the subsidy for solar panels, often referred to as the "Solar Rebate" was introduced in 2009 as part of the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme.
The RET scheme had two components: the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

In the solar rebate scheme, installations up to 100kW are eligible within the SRES rules where an immediate rebate is paid, and anything over 100kW fall into the LRET domain and receive a rebate based on actual renewable energy generated.

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The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) provided incentives for the installation of small-scale solar panel systems, wind turbines, and solar hot water systems. It was introduced to encourage the uptake of solar power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The subsidy is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Rebate that Changed Australia

The scheme has a sunset clause where the rebate diminishes by 7% each January first until January 2030 when it expires.

It has been this subsidy which has catapulted Australia to being the world leader in areas like rooftop solar and acted to support installation of Solar PV when panel prices were much more expensive than today, to the point of being unaffordable to most Australian residences.

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In 2008, a year before the rebate started, the price of solar panels varied widely depending on the type of panel, brand, and country of manufacture but during that time, the average price for solar panels in Australia could range from around $4 to $5 per watt. Today thanks to the miracle of mass production, vastly technically superior modules sell for $0.30 or less per watt.

Interestingly the subsidy of these initially expensive solar panels caused no negative impacts on the Australian economy. In fact, you could argue that the subsidy rebate spawned the solar installation industry which saw that start of thousands of brand-new solar businesses providing lots of jobs in the renewable industry - an industry that could be further boosted by the widespread adoption of battery storage - would a battery rebate do the same?

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We Can Only Wait For a Battery Rebate

Fast-forward to 2023. Batteries are expensive and likely to remain expensive whilst, driven by the electric vehicle industry economies of mass production, we wait for cheaper batteries. 

Meanwhile, the grid, which awaits widespread distributed storage for it to remain stable - a very easy case can be made for battery storage in homes to complement solar systems already available on the Australian roofs.
The perfect combination of these two technologies emerges from the ability of battery storage to absorb midday overproduction of solar and return this energy when the sun sets and solar production stops. In the industry this is called “load shifting".

Why is it the Perfect Energy Solution?

Rooftop solar and storage is the perfect solution when it comes to efficiencies because that energy generated and stored locally experiences much lower transportation costs in terms of electrical losses than remotely generated and stored energy.
There is a place for all renewable energy sources and storage, but rooftop has its unique place in the scheme of things. A bonus of course is the double function of the rooftop itself.

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Where are those Heroes who thought of the RET scheme?

We need the RET Heroes desperately to construct a version of the rebate for solar battery storage in Australia. Importantly we need the leadership at the political level to be the architects of a scheme to propel Australia to continue once more to be the world leader in renewable energy, not only in Solar, but also Energy Storage for both residential and commercial properties.

Not touched on here, is another technology which adds its own element of synergy; a grid with the intelligence to know how to coordinate the energy flows to maintain harmony within the grid. The conduit to allow this intelligence to do its magic is the Internet - it would essentially change the way that energy is generated, stored, and distributed.

We have high hopes that something similar to the RET scheme will be released for battery storage for at least residential properties, and that it will be a successful follow-up to the Solar rebate - until then, we wait.

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What about the other Australian States?

Both the Australian Capital Territory  and Northern Territory have battery storage rebates, with ACT having a Next Generation Storage Program which offers a rebate of $3,500 (exc. GST) or 50% of the battery price (exc. GST). The Northern Territory's battery rebate allows a rebate through their Home and Business Battery Scheme which offers a $6000 maximum grant for battery storage and inverters.

Hopefully New South Wales will see a battery storage rebate come to light to help kick-start the mass adoption of batteries. Until then, we wait.

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Where does Elite Power Group fit in?

We are your Newcastle and Hunter based Battery Storage Professionals, who also specialise in solar energy installations.
If you are interested in an installation or want more information about a renewable system, please don't hesitate to
contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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