news The Australian Greens have announced a plan aimed to assist solar-powered households on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with the costs of installing battery storage, and encourage a shift towards “clean energy”.
According to the party, the plan would help fund battery storage for the 18,969 households in Fisher and the 15,060 households in Fairfax that currently have solar installed, as well as encouraging others to shift to solar power and battery storage.
Battery storage allows solar energy to be stored for use at night and on low-sunshine days, reducing demand at peak periods. This helps lowers electricity bills and reduces the need for “costly grid upgrades to cater to high demand in peak periods”, the Greens said. Examples of companies providing such products include the United States’ Tesla and Australia’s own Redflow.
“The Sunshine Coast certainly lives up to its name by embracing solar energy,” said Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens’ Deputy Leader. ”Out of 150 electorates nationally … Fisher and Fairfax are both in the top 25 electorates with the most solar households. ”
The five-year program would introduce a 50% refundable tax credit for individuals to assist with the cost of household solar energy storage systems. Successful applicants would get up to half the cost of their battery storage system covered, up to a maximum of $5000 in the first year of the program, tapering off to $1,500 by 2021.
Up to 1.2 million homes could also be supported nationally over the five years of the program, the party said, with a grant scheme available for those on low incomes.
Up to 30,000 businesses will also get a boost from the proposal, which would allow battery storage assets to be depreciated for tax purposes over an accelerated period of three years.
Sue Etheridge, Greens Candidate for Fairfax, said: ”Battery storage is taking off globally and here on the Sunshine Coast some households are already installing battery storage. We Greens want to put battery storage in reach for every Sunshine Coast household and business. ”
“Our battery storage plan would be funded by removing taxpayer-funded subsidies for fossil fuel companies and is part of our national clean-energy transition plan to create tens of thousands of new jobs and to act on global warming,” Etheridge said.
Greens Candidate for Fisher, Tony Gibson, suggested that the plan gave solar users more independence, adding: ”With battery storage, households and businesses have more control over the solar power they generate, as they can store energy collected in the heat of the day to use when they need it most.”
According to The Guardian, the Greens said the program – which is expected to cost up to $2.9 billion – could be funded by doing away with concessions to fossil fuel-heavy industries.
The party has also promised to make the policy central to its post-budget and post-election negotiations with the Coalition Government, the news source added.
Image credit: Tesla