Solar Battery Prices Sydney

We look at what's happening with solar battery pricing and what look at estimated payback times

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Solar Battery Price

Australians love solar power. We lead the world with the installation of rooftop solar panels and customers see the reduction in their electricity bills. Now solar battery storage is a hot topic. Customers want to know what the solar battery cost is. Here we look at battery prices and the factors that affect the solar battery price in NSW and Australia.

Tesla Powerwall Solar battery

In a solar battery system, the battery stores excess power produced by the solar system. This power can be used at night instead of taking expensive power from the electricity grid. If you have solar without a solar battery, then the excess power produced during the day is exported back to the grid. In the past, this was not an issue, and the power companies paid a feed-in tariff of around 19c/kWh. Now with so much rooftop solar installed there is too much excess power getting pushed back into the grid during the middle of the day. Feed-in tariffs have fallen to as low as 4c a kWh.

There is now talk of a “solar tax.” Solar system owners will have to pay to send their excess power out to the grid during the middle of the day. Consequently, this is raising interest in purchasing solar batteries and in the solar battery storage price.

At present, the current solar battery price in Australia averages around $1000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of battery storage capacity. The battery capacity is measured in kWh. 1kWh of storage is the equivalent power of running a 1000-watt heater for 1 hour.

Factors Affecting the Solar Battery Price

Customers are asking should I buy a solar battery now and is the solar battery price going to rise or fall? To answer these questions, we first need to look at two major factors affecting the solar battery storage price.

Hardware Cost Influence on Solar Battery System Cost

The cost of solar hardware has fallen dramatically over the last few years along with the payback periods for solar. In 2021 the cost of a 5kW entry-level solar system was $16,000. Today it is $4,000.

Some people have the expectation that this level of reduction will occur in the solar panel battery price. The battery hardware is the metal casing and the controlling electronics. Yes, as volumes increase there will be a reduction in the cost of the battery hardware. The issue is that the cost of the hardware is only one factor in the overall solar battery price.

Lithium Price Influence on Solar Panel Battery Price

A second major influence on the solar battery storage cost is the cost of lithium. Lithium is processed to make the lithium-ion solar battery storage cells. To understand this, we need to look at what is happening to the price of the lithium hydroxide, used to manufacture batteries.

A slowdown in the lithium market in 2018 saw the price crash by 75%, from $20,000US/t to a low of $5,000US/t in July 2020. Consequently, there were mine closures and production cutbacks. Increasing lithium demand as electric vehicle sales accelerate and the growing market for solar battery storage has seen the end of the glut of lithium.

Image showing a pile of lithium Hydroxide
Lithium Hydroxide is the main raw material used in the manufacture oi solar batteries

Solar battery storage is a secondary market for lithium. The main market for lithium is for the battery packs in electric vehicles. The electric vehicle market is powering ahead. Sales leapt by 160% in the first half of 2021 across China, US and Europe. This surge in sales will continue to increase the demand for lithium.

The lithium price was around $10,000US/t in July 2021. This is below the price needed for producers reopen closed mines and processing facilities. The price has tripled to $31,000/t in December 2021. The price rise will see production ramp, but it is not enough to meeting the increasing demand.  Forbes reports that lithium is expected to be in short supply for many years to come. The demand is expected to outstrip supply by 248,000t in 2025. This will affect the solar battery price as the shortage drives lithium prices even higher.

This means now is a good time to invest in a solar battery rather than waiting to see if battery prices come down.

Residential Solar Battery Cost NSW

The residential solar battery price in NSW is in line with the average across Australia of around $1,000 per kWh of capacity. This price will vary according to the make and model of the battery.

The Tesla Powerwall is the best-known home solar battery in Australia, with a battery capacity of 13.5kWh. A Powerwall installed by a Sydney solar installer in June 2019 was around $12,000. This has now risen to $15,500, not including the cost of the solar system. This makes it $1,100 per kWh.

A Sungrow 12.8kWh capacity solar battery storage cost in Sydney is $9,770 or $763 per kWh.

Solar Battery Payback Time

The upfront solar battery price is an important factor in determining payback time. We can calculate a simple, estimated payback time for the Sungrow and Tesla Powerwall on the use of one battery cycle per day. A battery cycle is one full charge and discharge of the battery. Note the discharge (usable capacity) for each battery is 0.5kWh under the battery capacity. The prices shown are the RRP for the battery without solar as of December 2021.


Sungrow SBR128

Tesla Powerwall 2

Sungrow SBR224

Power Cost Per kWh

$0.28

$0.28

$0.28

Battery Size kWh

12.8

13.5

22.4

Battery Cycle kWh

12.3

13

21.9

Battery Cost

$9,779

$15,500

$14,710

Battery Cycles Per Year

365

365

365

Cycles to Pay Off

2836.8

4258.2

2398.9

Payback Time Years

7.77

11.67

6.57

There is big difference in the payback time between the Sungrow and the Tesla

 

Image of Sungrow SBR160 solar battery
Sungrow SBR160 Solar Battery

The Sungrow SBR series Solar Battery comes in different sizes from 9.6kWh right up to 25.6kWh. The table below details the cost per kWh based on the RRP.

Model

Battery Capacity

RRP

$/kWh

SBR096

9.6kWh

$7,905

$823

SBR128

12.8kW

$9,770

$763

SBR160

16kWh

$11,350

$709

SBR192

19.2kWh

$13,070

$681

SBR224

22.4kWh

$14,710

T$67

SBR256

25.6kWh

$16,910

$661

Solar Battery Payback Time in Sydney with Solar

In Sydney a 16kWh Sungrow solar battery system price with a 7.77kW solar system is $17,600. According to the CEC guidelines the 7.77kW solar system will produce 30.3kW of power per day. Over the course of a year the production will be 11,061kW. At a standard electricity cost of 28c per kWh this solar battery system will save $3092 per year if you use all the power produced.

The payback time for this system is 5.68 years.

Potential Solar Battery Supply Chain Issues

Solar technology was the cheapest it has ever been in 2020. However, in 2021 solar panel costs rose for the first time in 7 years according to the World Economic forum.

There is upward price pressure on other key raw materials such as copper and aluminium used in the manufacture of solar batteries.

Unfortunately, the biggest impact has been in the cost of shipping, which soared through 2021. The index which tracks shipping costs for shipping containers leaving China is the Shanghai Freight Index. Since the pandemic started in in 2020 the index shows the cost of shipping has increased six-fold.

Shanghai Fright Index

A Look Into the Future of Solar Battery Storage Costs in Australia

There is new battery technology being developed in Australia by Gelion that could be a game changer. The current generation of solar batteries all rely on lithium-based chemistry. The new battery technology from Gelion uses a zinc-bromide chemistry.

It is positioned as a disruptive technology. The batteries can run in high temperatures. The batteries are manufactured with materials that are inexpensive, easy to obtain and fully recyclable. The stationary battery market is tipped to grow to $86 billion world-wide by 2025.

Gelion plans to have a full-scale manufacturing operation in Australia by the end of 2022 to tap into this market. Click on the link below to see a news report on Gelion.

This battery delivers a cost effective and long-life alternative to the current lithium-ion batteries. At first the use will be for industrial applications, solar farms and wind farms. There is no doubt this technology will come through to the domestic solar battery. In the longer term in 5 or 6 years this will apply downward pressure solar battery prices.

Latest Solar Battery Offer

SolarBright’s latest Energy Independence Solar Battery offer for $17,600 features the Sungrow SBR 16kWh battery. The solar battery is coupled with a 7.77kW Max Power solar system and 6kW Sungrow Hybrid inverter. The system is backed with comprehensive warranties.

Solar battery offer system details:

  • 21 x 370W panels with a 25-year Australian performance warranty on the panels
  • 15-year Australian product warranty on the panels – many others offer 10 years only
  • Sungrow 6kW hybrid inverter with a 12-year warranty
  • Sungrow SBR16 16kWh battery with 10-year warranty
  • 10-year warranty on workmanship from SolarBright.

As detailed above the payback time on this system can as short as 5.7 years. The Sungrow SBR batteries provides black out protection as well as helps secure your energy independence.

Conclusion

We see that there is upward price pressure on some solar battery raw materials and shipping costs. However our payback analysis shows that investing in the right solar battery storage is the smart thing with to do and offers reasonable payback times. The right solar battery will help you gain energy independence, provide protection from blackouts, and insulate you from power cost increases.

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If you are interested in more information regarding solar battery system pricing in NSW or would like to chat with one of our energy consultants regarding solar and batteries please contact SolarBright today.

 

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