According to a new report from the Australia Institute, a majority of Australians support a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, with battery storage set to play a key role.
The report, titled Securing Renewables: How Batteries Solve The Problem Of Clean Electricity, cites a national opinion poll of 1,412 people undertaken between February and March 2016 that found 63 per cent of respondents would be more likely to support a political party that aims to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
Furthermore, 71 per cent of respondents said they would consider voting for a party that supported distributed small-scale solar and storage.
“The combination of batteries paired with variable renewable energy such as solar and wind can now provide security of electricity supply, with zero emissions,” said report author Dan Cass.
The study shows that more than 80 per cent of households that have invested in rooftop solar are considering buying batteries to boost their array and that overall interest in owning battery storage has leapt from 49 per cent to 63 per cent in just 12 months.
“Solar households are paid so much less for the power they export than the power they are sold by retailers that they may be driven off-grid and this is a major policy and political problem,” said Mr Cass. “Akin to a supermarket chain charging families for growing their own vegetables, the power industry continues to seek compensation for independent power production.”
Another factor is the increased affordability of electricity storage solutions.
“Lithium battery prices have fallen by 93 per cent between 1995 and 2014, which threatens coal and gas generators with competition, and Australian networks are already testing large-scale battery storage,” said Mr Cass.
“The federal government needs to work with the clean energy sector to quickly to unleash competition from storage while also ensuring safety standards for all battery technologies, to protect consumers and give the industry confidence to invest.”