Clean Energy Regulator: small-scale solar+storage installation rate doubled in 2017

Reports from Australia’s PV installers are that interest in battery storage is surging. Hype about brands like Tesla, worries over grid security, and the increasing competitiveness of battery systems on price is combining to lead to Australian households to take a close look at adding electrical storage when putting solar on their roof.

The latest figures from the Clean Energy Regulator bare out that trend, although the installation rate is below some of the more optimistic forecasts made by some industry observers.

The leading state for small scale solar+storage installations in 2017, by a considerable margin, was New South Wales with 1,604, followed by Queensland (684), Victoria (598), and South Australia (420).

The Clean Energy Regulator collects the data on storage installations on a voluntary basis, so there may be some underreporting of installation numbers. It also does not track battery systems being retrofitted to existing PV arrays. The government agency published the findings in its monthly Summary of Postcode Data report on small scale renewable energy installations.

Given that around 153,000 rooftop PV systems were installed in 2017, the Clean Energy Regulator data indicated at only around 2.5% of solar systems currently being installed are going in alongside battery storage. While this number is low, it is an increase on 1.16% in 2016.

The Clean Energy Regulator has been collecting information on small scale battery installations since September 2014. Since then small-scale storage installation has increased at a compound annual growth rate of over 91%.

In its monthly Cracking the Small-Scale Code update, the agency found that 7,709 small-scale systems installed nationally in December, with a total capacity of 42 MW. This was down on 7,944 the previous month.

The Clean Energy Regulator will publish the Cracking the Small-Scale Code updates on a quarterly basis in 2018.