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Researchers say it is only a matter of time before most Australians will be using renewable energy

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht and ITP Renewables’ Managing Director Simon Franklin. Source Clare Stibthorpe

Angus Kennelly

Researchers believe traditional energy sources in ten years’ time will be on their way out and Australians will be asking themselves, ‘which battery should I buy?’

This is soon to become a very pertinent question that most Bathurst locals will not be able to answer.

By 2022 it is expected that battery prices will drop by 60%. Despite this electricity prices continue to rise and it is only natural that more and more will jump ship.

There are uncertain times ahead. The technology will be new, and no one will be able to properly gauge whether they are getting a good deal or not.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) believes Australian consumers are ill-informed in regard to renewable energy. Some even disillusioned because they have heard or experienced the ‘horror stories’.

ARENA and ITP Renewal are teaming up in a bid to shed some light on the matter.

Battery manufacturers say their products will last 10 years. Canberra engineers are carrying out accelerated tests to see if this true.

“In a period of three years we will be able to see how a battery will perform in a home in a period of over 10 years,” said ITP senior consultant, Oliver Woldring.

Every six months a report details the success of each battery will be released. The reports are easily accessible online, and use a lot of visual cues to simplify the information.

Live results are also available.

ITP is investigating how the batteries last in temperatures realistic to Australia. They will do this with an air conditioner.

This kind of testing is specific to inland cities like Bathurst, as they are not yet analysing the impact corrosion would have on batteries in coastal regions.

Factorising in climate to their project makes this a very forward thinking examination.

“It is quite different to most battery testing around the world which is done in standard lab condition at 25 degrees,” Said Oliver Woldring.

Hopefully this means Bathurst locals will not be misled by companies overestimated battery lifespan.

ITPs findings have been so compelling ARENA has invested almost $900,000 in them in the past year.

“Inland Australians are early adopters, they’re impressive and they’re out in force, and we’re going to help them make good decisions,” said ARENA General Manager, Kirsty Gowans.

Though industry leaders suggest renewable energy is a two way street and consumers must be investing.

“A 20 year energy contract was signed with renewable energy, so we’re doing our best to try to prevent future price rise,” said Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability.

Live results of a Lithium battery (source: ITP Renewable Website)