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Increased Battery Use Proves Reliability and Accessibility of Solar Power

Date: 16-Feb-17
Author: Laura Chalk

Battery in Sienna Catholic College courtesy of GoZero © Claire Bell

Battery in Sienna Catholic College courtesy of GoZero

Batteries provide answer to question of renewable reliability.

How quickly and comprehensively society can uncouple power generation from fossil fuels is largely dependant upon proving renewable energy’s reliability. With some blaming recent power outages in South Australia on the state’s adoption of solar and wind power, it could be tempting to dismiss it for long term, wide spread adoption.

Batteries harness and store power, making it available wherever and whenever it’s required. This technology eliminates the likelihood of blackouts and enables energy to be available across a spectrum of environments, in rain, hail or shine. Increased use around the world attests to batteries effectiveness, confirming solar energy’s durability and reliability.

Installations in India and Australia

One company at the forefront of this technology is Ecoult, who are currently trialing their batteries in the harsh heat of rural India. If energy storage proves successful there, it can be employed for use in other remote parts of the developing world.

As demand for solar panels increases, Australians are also installing batteries at a rapid rate. A national audit of solar batteries shows 7000 were installed in Australian homes in 2016 with that number expected to triple this year. Solar consultancy firm SunWiz conducted the audit as reported in a recent ABC news article.

Warwick Johnson from SunWiz said batteries would become a ‘game changer’ for Australia’s energy networks. Robust competition has caused battery prices to plummet, so becoming more affordable for the homeowner. The benefits of batteries extend beyond household use, however, with Johnson predicting their role in the national grid to be one of great importance in the near future. Energy Networks Australia (ENA) CEO John Bradley agrees, saying batteries are ‘absolutely’ a part of the country’s future.

Examples of solar battery adoption can be found in unlikely places: a student housing block near the University of Sydney is home to the world’s largest installation of Enphase batteries. The solar panels and 36 batteries have been retrofitted on a heritage-listed building, servicing the 40 student residents.

Battery technology is performing strongly and predictably in all cases. With examples of its successful uptake increasing, there is a clear trend towards its use around the globe on both micro and macro scales and in urban as well as remote locations. While vocal advocates of the fossil fuel industry continue to champion its use, aided by batteries solar is proving to be a reliable, cost effective and preferable energy source. “Today diesel is a fuel of convenience,” says Ecoult CEO John Wood in an Eco Generation interview. “Tomorrow it could be the fuel of last resort.”

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Laura                                             Chalk
Author: Laura Chalk

Laura joined Planet Ark in 2016. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience having travelled the world and a background in teaching English as a second language among other things.

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