Battery boom keeping Australia’s grid fully charged

Australia’s love affair with clean energy and battery storage is only just beginning, with the nation on the verge of an energy storage boom, as the cost of lithium-ion batteries rapidly drops, according to a new Climate Council report.

The ‘Fully Charged: Renewables and Storage Powering Australia’ report shows Australia is on the cusp of a reliable renewable energy future, as the cost of energy storage rapidly drops, with prices dropping by 80 per cent since 2010, and are tipped to halve again by 2025.

“Australia’s renewables and battery storage boom will keep the nation’s power grid fully charged, especially during extreme weather events, such as summer heatwaves,” Climate Council energy expert Professor Andrew Stock said.

“We live in one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, so pairing affordable renewables with energy storage like batteries, pumped hydro and heat storage just makes economic sense.

“Clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology now accounts for 16 per cent of Australia’s total electricity supply, with dozens more projects under construction or in the pipeline this year alone.”

According to the report, 6750 new household batteries were installed in 2016, and the market is predicted to have tripled in size in 2017, with more than 20,000 new installations.

Climate Councillor and former BP President Greg Bourne said the report confirmed Australian households and businesses are embracing the nation’s transition to a 21st Century energy grid.

“Clean energy storage is gaining momentum across the nation, from the world’s most powerful battery, solar thermal storage and virtual power plants in South Australia to plans for grid-scale batteries in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory too,” he said.

With states and territories taking the lead in Australia’s renewables race, Bourne said the Federal Government was missing in action over credible and coherent federal energy and climate policy.

“The lack of ambition in the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) places the renewables and storage boom at risk of grinding to a halt while failing to adequately cut rising pollution levels and tackle climate change.

“The transition to renewable energy and storage is inevitable and is happening now.”