What’s powering your home? Are you connected to the electricity grid? Do you have solar panels? A fuel cell? Perhaps a backyard wind turbine? It’s totally feasible to check all of these boxes: this is what's called a ‘hybrid energy system’.

Solar and wind power side by side.

Solar and wind power side by side.

What’s powering your home? Are you connected to the electricity grid? Do you have solar panels? A fuel cell? Perhaps a backyard wind turbine? It’s totally feasible to check all of these boxes: this is what’s called a ‘hybrid energy system’.

Hybrid energy systems combine two or more forms of energy generation, storage or end-use technologies, and they can deliver a boatload of benefits compared with single source systems.

Variety is the spice of life, so why limit ourselves to just one energy source or storage option? In these cases, hybrid energy systems are an ideal solution since they can offer substantial improvements in performance and cost reduction, and can be tailored to varying end user requirements.

Configurations could include renewable or non-renewable energy sources, electrical and chemical energy storage and fuel cells, often connected via a smart grid.

They have the potential to dramatically reduce cost and emissions from energy generation and distribution for households, but can be held back by the limitations of individual power generation or storage technologies – this may include cost, inconsistent supply (like interrupted solar on a cloudy day), etc.

This means there is substantial demand for hybrid energy solutions to lower cost and improve efficiency, while still meeting performance requirements.

So to meet this demand, we’ve established a Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems at our Clayton site in Victoria. It’s  a state-of-the-art facility showcasing our substantial expertise and capability in integrating energy storage, renewable energy, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, fuel processing, systems design and construction.

Here’s an example hybrid energy systems whereby solar, wind and a fuel cell provide the energy for your house and/or car.

hybrid systems infographic

According to our research Fellow Dr Sukhvinder Badwal, there’s now an increased availability of renewable and modular power generation and storage technologies such as batteries, fuel cells, and household solar.

“These technologies are becoming cost competitive, but the key to greater use is to combine them in connected hybrid systems,” Dr Badwal said.

“By doing this, we can offer substantial improvements in performance and cost.”

We’re keen to put our heads together with industry partners, and the collaborative space will be used to share the benefits of emerging hybrid energy systems with industry and government to maximise the value of local energy sources.

The Centre is underpinned by our research across low-emission energy technologies that create value for industry and households and provide the knowledge which will help guide Australia towards a smart, secure energy future. Check out our other energy research here.



  1. Replying to Stephen Fitton, I think he needs to look at different electricity retailers and possibly different inverter models for his PV panels. My 3.8 kW system for a 2 person household in Sydney has produced zero bills (actually slight credit) for 2 years, heading for payback in about 8 years. This is achieved with a degree of miserliness and timing of major loads to do just what you thought wasn’t available.. using your own power most of the time.

    Indeed PV owners soon learn that timing of demand to PV yield is the key to economy. Hence I paid extra for tilted frames to shift the peak PV yield earlier, to noon, thus allowing washing and clothesline drying of a batch of washing in a single sunny day. Baked dinners are difficult to optimise but slow cooked foods can be done with PV power in the middle of the day.

    One product I am looking to buy is a small capacity, high power, fast response battery or supercapacitor storage unit to smooth out demand from on/off cycled devices like refrigerator, hotplate or oven. As is, I sell PV power at 12c/kWhr to the grid when the stove cycles OFF, then pay for the unsupplied part of the 4kw oven load at 26-28c/kWhr when it turns ON a moment later. Still with zero bills I can’t complain.

  2. Hello sir!
    I am study in environment engineering
    I want to make small working model of hybrid energy
    Can you help me?

  3. My wife and I have just moved out on the land, just outside of Canberra, and instead of bringing in power lines we opted for a 5KW solar system with gel battery storage which incidentally turned out the cheaper option. At first I was skeptical at to whether the system would handle a welding machine, which was my main concern, until I tested and I can say that the results are better than using grid power due to no fluctuation in the current.

    All our appliances inside the house are all electric…… stove, toaster, fridges etc and have ample power left over. A solar hot water system boosted by the panels is essential.

    Although the panels produces power on cloudy days I have found through observation that at least a 1KW wind turbine would complement the system to just about perfection, if I may use that word which is just about how I view it. The wind turbine would make the fuel generator close to obsolete except on the rare occasion where there is no sun and no wind, in which case the storage would see us through.

    Yes, hybrid renewable using solar and wind combined is the solution. I was unaware of hydrogen storage until I read this article and it has raised my hopes for the future of humanity.

    I would also like to mention here that we have calculated that at the price of country energy, we will get our money back for the solar system in the next six to seven years and never have to pay a power bill ever again. After-all, the majority of people spend far more than our system on a car.

    I take my hat off to the CSIRO, what a great organisation it has always been.

    1. Hi Tony

      I would like to hear more about the system that you have, as I am just about to build near Yass and we are looking for a good source of off the grid power supply.

  4. Running around in a circle with generate and use before it is exported to utilities is a lie as they record your generation , credit you that amount then charge you back at their rate,
    They dont seperate your useage when excess is generated,
    Clever lie

  5. Love it, can you deliver point of sale for residential clients ?

    1. I made a comment that was relevant but it has had no response and it was removed. Why

      alan jackson, alanj@netspeed.com.au

      1. Hi Alan,
        Your previous comment was not approved as it contained sales and marketing material.
        CSIRO Social Media

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