WA could be 100% solar powered by 2025

One in every five homes in Western Australia has rooftop solar panels, making the state one of the fastest to embrace solar technology.

Adding to the renewable numbers, around 1800 solar photovoltaic systems on average, were installed on WA rooftops each month this year. With an average annual growth rate of installations of about 27 per cent, the state’s Energy Minister, Mike Nahan, has predicted that WA’s daytime electricity needs would be completely generated by solar PV within 10 years, according to news.com.au.

It has also been reported that state-owned utility Synergy will soon start offering home battery storage systems to residential customers. Earlier in the year, gas retailer Alinta also announced that it was planning to sell solar panels to households as well as battery storage devices once the technology became commercially feasible and the market deregulated.

Battery storage systems are expected to be a real game changer in the energy market by giving homes the opportunity to become practically free of the electricity grid and making the idea of power-bill free homes a real possibility in the near future.

Renewable energy trials in Western Australia are examining how sustainable technology and battery storage systems can become economically viable solutions for homes, retailers as well as network operators. Recently, a battery storage system was added as part of a wider sustainable living project being run by Curtin University and Low Carbon Living. Another battery storage system trial is also being run at the Alkimos Beach residential development, north of Perth.

Mr Nahan told news.com.au the WA state-owned utility companies Western Power and Synergy were weeks away from announcing a solution to allow batteries to export to the grid.

“Australia is an ideal test market for residential battery storage products due to high peak tariffs and the relatively large existing base of installed solar photovoltaic systems,” he said.

“Western Power and Synergy are currently in discussions to achieve a solution to allow batteries to export to the grid. I expect to make an announcement in the coming weeks.”

Mr Nahan also said it has been estimated that solar photovoltaic systems installed on the South West Interconnected System were forecast to generate more than 750 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2015-16. He told a conference in August that he expected Perth’s electricity needs to be generated by rooftop power within a decade.

Want to know more about how solar technology works? Read our solar energy guide for some frequently asked questions.


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