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Assessment of the economic viability of battery storage for Australia's residential electricity sector

Ainscough, Jeremy (2016) Assessment of the economic viability of battery storage for Australia's residential electricity sector. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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A number of factors in Australia’s electricity market are now combining to produce favourable conditions for residential battery storage uptake out to 2030. These factors are: decreasing battery prices, increasing forecast grid electricity prices, the removal of state based premium feed-in tariffs and the continued willingness of Australian households to reduce their electricity costs through installing solar. The benefits that residential batteries may provide to Australian electricity networks are also being considered, with batteries able to delay costly network upgrades, displace peaking generation for peak shaving, and assist the integration of a higher percentage of renewable generation. Research in 2015, by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), looked at the economic viability of residential batteries in Australia. However, both of these studies focused on the National Electricity Market (NEM) regions only. This research uses recently advertised Australian battery prices to provide a more relevant assessment of the economic viability of batteries in all Australian regions, including the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA). The HOMER modelling software is used to calculate paybacks for household scenarios, from which potential uptake is forecast. The results show for new battery and PV installations, paybacks under 9-years for all regions, and overall uptake of over 500,000 battery installs, by 2030. While it is shown that almost one million PV households are no longer on premium feed-in tariffs by 2016, the low economic viability for battery retrofits, results in limited uptake. AEMO and CSIRO show similar paybacks to those identified in this study, however forecast uptake is varied, with this study providing medium uptake in-between the other two studies. Under current market conditions, this study identifies medium paybacks with medium uptake for residential batteries across all Australian regions out to 2030.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Pivrikas, Almantas and Minakshi, Manickam
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