China’s BYD enters Australian home energy storage market

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BYD, a Chinese electric car manufacturer backed by Warren Buffett, has decided to enter the energy storage market in Australia, saying there is large potential for the technology in Australian homes.

BYD has signed a distribution agreement with Australian company Fe Batteries for its home energy storage system called the DESS, as well as for its solar PV, LED lighting and solar street lamp products.

The energy storage market is being described as the “next big thing” in Australia, with installers and solar companies across the country reporting massive increase in inquiries.

BYD said the recent decrease of the various feed in tariffs  across Australia, and continuing rises in electricity prices meant Australian householders installing Solar PV on their homes or business were looking to use storage systems.

This enabled them to store the solar energy generated from their roof for later re-use rather than purchasing electricity from the grid or to export their excess energy to their local grid and benefit from their local FIT.

The DESS system – which comes in a 3kW/8kWh single-phase system and 9kW/8kWh three-phase system – allows existing or newly installed solar PV systems with battery storage seamlessly through a inverter and battery storage module to their local grid. There is also an off-grid home energy system.

Ian Goldfinch, business director of Fe Batteries, said Australians had access to abundant sunshine, are environmentally aware, and interested in practical ways to save money on their electricity bills.

“What has been needed is technology to support home and business energy storage systems,” he said.

BYD manufactures electric vehicles and electric buses in China and is ranked as the fastest growing Chinese automotive and green energy technology company..


Buffett bought 10 per cent of BYD in 2009 for $230 million, and appears to have at least trebled the value of his investment. It remains the company’s second largest shareholder.  

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  • Chris

    Batteries are environmentally harming. The manufacturer and disposal of batteries is a diaster. Stupid cheapo Chinese should keep out

    • Ron Horgan

      Chris, the Wikipedia description of the BYD lithium iron phosphate battery notes that all chemical substances used in the battery can be recycled.
      Plainly the Chinese are competently and aggressively developing high tech market opportunities.
      I think that there are now more millionaires in China than USA.

  • stuart Duthie

    If these reports are to be beleived then BYD are offering an impressive energy storage solution.

    The claimed numbers imply that PV + storage could be , under some circumstances, quite competitive relative to grid power in Australia if you sized the system to be grid neutral per recent ENERGETICS modelling (see link below)

    The claims are:

    1) 8KW PV panel + 9KW inverter + 8KWHR DESS (Distributed energy storage solution) can be procured and installed (presumably in Germany)for EU20,000.
    With German PV costs of around EU1800 Kw/hr the installed DESS unit costs would appear to be around EU5600 only. (28% of total costs)
    Integrated system costs are EU2500/KW ($3125/KW)

    2) BYD “Fe” li-ion battery have a more than 3500cycle lifespan (1 cycle for 10 years) at 100%DOD with 80% capacity remaining

    3) BYD ‘Fe” li-ion battery costs will be down to $200/kwhr by 2016.