Farm Battery Subsidy Benefits Farmers, Food and Climate

Farmers for Climate Action

Research by AgriFutures referenced by the ABC today has provided further evidence that subsidising batteries for farmers is good policy for cost of living and climate.

The report found that the cost of installing batteries was almost twice as high in the country as in capital cities.

Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) is an organisation representing more than 7500 farmers across its Australia-wide network. Last year FCA released the ‘Farm Powered‘ report which outlined opportunities and pathways for regional Australia to benefit from the renewable energy boom.

FCA spokesperson and sheep farmer from Harden Peter Holding said the AgriFutures report findings were further proof that a battery subsidy for farmers could help keep the cost of food down for Australian families by reducing farmers’ input costs.

“Currently, most battery storage will take farmers ten years to pay off. A subsidy scheme could bring this payoff period down to five years,” Mr Holding said.

“A farm battery subsidy reduces farmers’ energy costs, helps keep the cost of food down, reduces the need for big transmission lines across farmland and helps smooth out the high-use morning and evening peaks in energy demand.

“Giving the farmers who grow our food a helping hand to become energy independent is a great thing for cost of living, for energy security and for climate.”

The AgriFutures report says the average 2022 cost of installing batteries is $1200-$1300 per kilowatt hour for household installs and $600-$700 per kilowatt hour for “utility scale installations”, but points out these costs increase significantly in country areas.

The report lists four farm case studies, commenting that a subsidy would make the battery more viable in two of those case studies (a third had received a government grant).

“The cost of this proposed battery could be decreased … if a government rebate/subsidy was available,” the report said.

The report also found the investment to install batteries in rural areas was greater because of extra transport costs, additional site infrastructure and higher expenses to hire tradespeople and contractors.

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