What problems does a community battery solve?
Rapid uptake in solar is causing ‘congestion’ in the electricity network, that is, more renewable energy than the grid can handle. Unfortunately, if renewable energy can’t be used, exported to the grid, or stored, it is wasted.
Community batteries address this problem by absorbing and storing excess energy from rooftop solar and releasing it during peak times when it is needed most.
Neighbourhood-scale batteries are a more affordable and cost-effective solution for renewable energy storage than individual household batteries, which are still prohibitively expensive for most people.
With community batteries, we can make our energy system more resilient, climate friendly, equitable, and affordable.
|‘Solar waste’ — excess energy produced by local residents’ solar systems which is not utilised.||The battery will capture and charge up during the day when solar export energy is highest, and release it during peak times or at night.|
|‘Energy inequity’ — not everyone is able to: install solar, access renewable and affordable energy, benefit from renewable energy, engage with the energy system.||The battery will help to redistribute renewable energy across the community. All homes within the network catchment area, not just homes with solar, would be consuming electricity with a higher renewable energy content than the grid.|
|‘Export limiting’ — blockages in the electricity network restricting more homes from connecting solar to the grid.||The battery would help remove restrictions on homes that want to export solar to the grid. This would increase the payback on solar if homes are able to export energy.|
|‘Energy affordability’ — electricity prices contribute to bill pressure, exacerbating already vulnerable people and households.||The battery would apply downward pressure on the cost of electricity. As local supply of renewable energy increases and demand remains the same, electricity prices should become more affordable. These effects will be greater as community batteries scale in size and number.|
|‘Batteries are expensive’ — batteries are not yet cost-effective at the household scale.||The battery would operate at the “neighbourhood scale”, leverage economies of scale, offer a more cost effective way to deploy battery storage.|