Parliament Updates

Zali Steggall MP speaks on the need for Cheaper Home Batteries

14 February 2022


Ms STEGGALL (Warringah) (10:23): I second the motion and I'm delighted to be able to say that the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Cheaper Home Batteries) Bill 2022 is a win-win policy. In short, this bill will amend the Renewable Electricity Act to make home battery installations eligible for small-scale technology certificates under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. The SRES has been the centre of the dramatic growth in renewable generation over the last decade. Over three million solar panels have been installed in homes across Australia as a result. Thirty per cent of households now have solar; by 2030 it will be 50 per cent. In Warringah there have been over 6,356 solar connections, making up more than 37,300 kilowatts of power. Each of the three councils also has programs to improve the uptake of solar. This work is strongly supported by Zero Emissions Sydney North and many others.

But we must turn our attention to home battery installations. The effect of this legislation will be to subsidise home batteries, improving the economics and increasing the uptake. Because this scheme is over 15 years, the bill will send a positive long-term investment signal to project developers and investors. It will reduce market volatility, particularly in the middle of the day, and it will support more investment in renewable energy.

Why do we want batteries? To reduce every person's power bills for households. This will provide important grid services. It's incredibly important that we do this. Only 33,000 batteries were installed last year, but it could easily be compounded over time as the economics improve. We know we need to bring the price of batteries down. It's projected already to drop by 58 per cent by 2030, and we anticipate 500,000 home batteries by 2030, and many more if this bill passes. With this demand, there's an opportunity to create a substantial industry in Australia.

So the question for the government is: are you fair dinkum in wanting to actually deliver net zero and lower the power prices for households? If you are then this is a bill you will support. By processing battery materials for the advanced manufacture of them, we could add $7.4 billion and 35,000 jobs to the economy. So these are the solutions that the government should be focusing on, and are strongly commended the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.