Climate change is a fascinating topic during election times. Almost all election manifestos pay a lot of attention to climate policy, CO2 reduction and even nuclear energy. An energy transition is essential. So we must continue the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources, such as solar energy and wind energy, as quickly as possible.
The word home battery is not mentioned in the election manifestos, but it does play an important role. Today it is already a solution to be able to use the energy that we generate during the day with our solar panels in the evening when the sun no longer shines.
It helps homeowners become self-sufficient and no longer dependent on the electricity grid. This would have a dual benefit of directly reducing demand for fossil fuels and ultimately helping to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.
The purchase of home batteries is taking off very slowly
However, the purchase of home batteries is still taking off very slowly. Purchasing home batteries is still quite expensive for consumers. The payback period is unclear due to the price of energy and the role of the government and energy suppliers. The latter is a serious topic because the regulations regarding the return of energy to the grid should benefit consumers. And you can bet that this could have a major impact on the adoption of home batteries.
However, it is certain that home batteries can make an important contribution to the energy transition. To ensure a breakthrough, you need an adapted energy policy and that does not necessarily have to wait very long. This is what CE Delft concludes in a 101-page study commissioned by Huawei Netherlands. The company is known in the Netherlands as a supplier of infrastructure for telecommunications and consumer electronics, but is also a supplier of home batteries. Given the care and suitability of the research, it should invite political parties to re-read their vision on the energy transition. Precisely because the results can be quite decisive for the contribution that consumers can already make today.
Results of CE Delft research
More and more Dutch households are contributing to the energy transition with solar panels, a sustainable heat supply and electric cars. A home battery makes it possible to store electricity for later use. This makes the electricity grid more stable and ensures a more sustainable energy system. Households with solar panels and a home battery increase the share of self-generated energy
The research also concludes that specific deployment can contribute to reducing peak loads and can postpone grid reinforcement in some areas. This requires a new policy, as well as new contract forms from the network operators.
How can the purchase of home batteries be encouraged?
Three important recommendations emerged from CE Delft’s research:
1. Create better conditions for home batteries, such as a guideline on fire safety for home batteries, setting up an infrastructure for collection and recycling and legal requirements for cybersecurity, so that compliance is possible.
2. The research concludes that the netting scheme and subsequently the double energy tax make the payback period longer. The abolition of the netting arrangement is a logical measure to encourage personal use.
3. Investigate reform of network tariffs. With the current policy, home batteries increase the peak load on the electricity grid. The network operators can conduct further research with the market into limiting the impact on the network, by adjusting rates or by direct control for a limited number of hours per year.
Finally, depending on the use of the home battery, temporary stimulation in the form of a subsidy is necessary for a profitable business case. When obstructive regulations are tackled, a subsidy between 20% & 40% is required for a reasonable payback period.
Home Batteries in the Energy Transition
The full research (101 pages) by CE Delft: “Home Batteries in the Energy Transition – Grid Congestion, Electricity Trade and Government Policy” can be found via this link. Here you will also find the ‘Knowledge document on home batteries’ with general information for governments, installers and consumers.