Do I Need a Battery for my Solar Energy System?
Posted in Blog
Testing Solar Energy Battery Mindsets
The presumption by many electricity consumers is that Solar requires a battery to be worthwhile. We explain why Solar panels by themselves are a great initial investment without the need of a battery.
Keep an Eye Out on Batteries
With battery technology constantly evolving, we are actively following developments for batteries. Once you understand how Solar works for your household, then reassess electricity storage.
Do I Need a Battery for my Solar energy system?
Right after being asked ‘How much does Solar cost?’, often comes the valid question of ‘Should I get a battery for my Solar system?’. Let’s take a closer look at batteries for your solar system.
As we know, Solar energy is only produced during daylight hours. With many of us out and about during the day and less electricity being consumed at home during the day, naturally we wonder about having a battery included as part of our Solar energy system.
To answer the question simply, a battery is not necessary for your Solar energy system.
We find for the average Kiwi household, solar panels stack up as being a great investment by themselves. While it’s true that your electricity self-consumption (how much of the solar power generated you use rather than exporting back to the grid) will be higher with a battery, most Kiwis will be financially better off utilising the grid for their after hours power needs. Yes, you are still paying the power company, but when considering the marginal cost of your grid-tied power against battery sourced power, while we find it generally does pay off eventually, it takes longer to pay off. Plus, with the shorter expected lifespan of a battery, you can run the risk of requiring a battery replacement just as or even before your battery savings are made.
In short, a panel only system can pay itself off and generate you a handsome return quicker than including a battery in your Solar energy system (as we find with a large portion of our kiwi households). Clean Energy Partners recommend ‘right-sizing’ your system based on two years of your electricity use to determine what size is optimal for you. We find a straightforward panels only system provides the best return for the most reasonable cash outlay. By getting a long term view of your consumption patterns, we specialise in finding the optimal return on your investment. Part of today’s solution could include future proofing your system to simply add a battery when it stacks up.
But watch this space
We are excited about current and future developments in the battery market. The constantly improving technology means that many batteries are still in the development stage, whereas panel technology is well established. We believe that $5,000-$10,000 spent on a battery will secure a better product in a few years time rather than just now. And sure, some great companies have some amazing products out there (we love the Tesla Powerwall!), but we find many consumers aren’t yet willing to pay the premium price that comes with those great products. What’s more, by getting to know your exciting new Solar system for a year or two, and how Solar works for your household will help shape your understanding of battery needs.
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