Australia’s energy industry hit by Tesla renewable home battery

The future is not looking great for Australia’s major energy firms, with Tesla’s renewable home battery system set to shake up the industry.

With analysts predicting that the new Powerwall device will see a significant decrease in grid power consumption, Morgan Stanley has cut its earnings forecast for AGL and Origin, two of the country’s largest energy companies.

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Tesla unveiled its range of home batteries earlier this month, which store solar energy collected during the day to for use at night. If the concept takes off, AGL and Origin could be set to lose between $30 million and $40 million in 2017 and $90 million to $100 million by 2020.

Financial services firm Morgan Staley added that the interest shown in Tesla’s product is reflective of a growing movement towards renewable energies.

“This potential downward revision of earnings is in the same order of magnitude experienced by the companies over the 2009-13 period when the first wave of household solar and energy efficiency came through,” a report explained.

“The conventional results confirm our view that industry headwinds in merchant utilities continue, and give us conviction that the surprisingly strong level of interest in solar and battery systems is real.”

The forecast is being driven by the latest results of a consumer survey of 1,602 Australian household carried out by AlphaWise in March. The survey indicates that approximately 2.4 million homes are willing to purchase the $10,000 Tesla home battery, providing payment takes place over a period of ten years. There are also around 1.1 million households with solar panels in place, many of which are likely to invest in the new home battery.

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Although both AGL and Origin will surely respond with green energy proposals of their own – the former already has a home battery product on the market – Tesla’s product is likely to cause significant disruption to the industry.