Power to the people: evolutionary market pressures from residential PV battery investments in Australia

Kelvin Say, Michele John, Roger Dargaville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Falling costs of solar PV and battery technologies are continuously changing the customer relationship with their electricity network. By managing their own self-generation, customers are able to place natural selection pressure on utilities to evolve. The devised techno-economic simulation model projects residential PV and battery investment decisions over 20 years in Perth, Australia to quantify the potential market impacts from policy and customer investment conditions. Using real-world demand and insolation profiles from 261 households, this research evaluates how cumulative customer PV and battery investments changes the network and market operating conditions, while under the influence of various feed-in tariff values. The results indicate that high feed-in tariff policy costs in the short-term, make it economically challenging to prevent or restrain significant residential PV-battery adoption in the longer-term. Moreover, continuous increases in residential PV-battery system installations eventually lead to annual net-exports substantially exceeding net-imports on the distribution network. This significant shift in network operation provides an opportunity for policymakers to utilise behind-the-meter PV-battery investments and decentralised energy markets to meet wider renewable energy and decarbonisation goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110977
Number of pages20
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Battery storage
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Photovoltaics
  • PV
  • Renewable energy transitions
  • Techno-economic modelling

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