An interview with Ryan Wood, Partner Development Manager, and Ben Hutt, CEO and Managing Director at Evergen.
Ryan: So in Australia over the last couple of years especially, we’ve seen a couple of subsidies and incentives around different states for people to uptake batteries. I mean, what’s your view on the progression of that and how they’ve kind of performed so far?
Ben: It’s been really confusing to be honest, to know which states are doing what, and how much it’s worth, and whether you’re eligible or not. Some really good examples are the Next Gen Scheme as the ACT has been really consistent, and everyone knows what they get and when they get it. We’re seeing the NSW Empowering Homes Scheme focused on testing a few key areas. I think there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll roll that out more widely. But I think interest in the above and what the state governments are doing, we’re now increasingly seeing other utilities subsidise batteries. So, as an example, some of the Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) in SA say that the cost of acquiring a battery is subsidised upfront on the basis that you then tie that asset into a VPP owned by one of the major utilities for a few years.
So I think there are catalysts for subsidising someone’s decision to buy a battery. There’s also quite a lot of people financing them and about to finance them on the basis of if you buy a battery, maybe you pay it down over seven years, and lose control during that period. Or equally, maybe you get an interest-free loan and you buy your electricity from someone who’s affiliated with the people providing that loan. But there’s all sorts of versions of this happening to make it easier for people to acquire solar and a battery up front. But personally, I think that solar and battery in the right location with the right retail electricity tariff is a pretty solid investment anyway. Particularly if you believe that some of the ways the rules are changing over the next 12 to 24 months will be more favorable for batteries, which I do.
For a list of solar and battery subsidies available in in your state, visit here.