Finkel: Australia leads the way in energy storage

Australia is leading the way in residential battery storage, according to a new report released today by Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel.

The report, Taking Charge: The Energy Storage Opportunity for Australia, has revealed nearly 21,000 battery storage systems were installed in homes across the country in 2017, three times as many as the previous year.

Mr Finkel said the report highlights Australia led the world in the installation of residential battery storage systems in 2017 in terms of power capacity, on the back of high penetration of household solar rooftop panels.

The paper concludes aside from battery systems, there is rising interest in pumped hydro projects to store energy, and Australia is well-placed to be a leader in exporting renewable hydrogen.

Dr Finkel said energy storage would be crucial to the future of Australia’s electricity network.

“We are entering an era of rapid technological transformation in electricity generation and usage,” Dr Finkel said.

“Energy storage technologies can not only help us benefit from the transition but to prosper through the creation of new industries, new jobs and opening up export markets.”

The paper notes 1.8 million buildings in Australia are fitted with rooftop solar panels and the majority are residential.

Federal Energy Minsiter Josh Frydenberg said the report confirms the critical role energy storage will play in the transformation of Australia’s electricity system.

“As more renewable energy – mainly in the form of solar and wind power – enters our electricity grid, the need for energy storage solutions grows,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“This is why the Turnbull Government put energy storage on the agenda – to deliver a more affordable and reliable energy system for Australians.

“We supported the development of Australia’s first virtual power plant last year, comprising 1000 households and businesses, and have since funded the development of another, providing a further 1200 batteries to homes.

“We’ve also funded the installation of three large-scale batteries across Victoria and South Australia and we’re exploring, upgrading and expanding several pumped hydro energy storage projects that benefit the whole NEM.”