The Australian Greens have announced a new policy for a 20 GW national energy storage target and incentives for households and business to invest in energy storage.
The policy was launched in Adelaide by Deputy Leader and spokesperson on climate and energy, Adam Bandt MP and Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young.
The Greens would put in place a legislated target of 20 GW of multi-hour storage by 2030, with annual milestones across the National Electricity Market and WA and NT networks.
The new Energy Storage Target is modelled on the existing Renewable Energy Target as well as overseas storage targets.
The policy includes:
- Support for behind-the-meter residential and business energy storage, including establishing a small-scale energy storage scheme (based on the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme which applies to rooftop solar) managed by the Clean Energy Regulator. Systems of up to 250 KW/1MWh will be eligible;
- Support realistic and appropriate standards for household and SME storage, particularly batteries, and oppose unnecessary restrictions on residential storage installations and connections.
- Establishing a Commonwealth Large Scale Energy Storage Scheme, with $2.2 billion in funding over 4 years to contract and build energy storage at grid level, managed by AEMO and the Clean Energy Regulator;
- Reform of Frequency Control and Ancillary Services Market to enable participation of energy storage in fast frequency response;
- Shifting to a 5 minute settlement rule for the wholesale energy market;
- Supporting and where possible expanding state government energy storage tenders;
- Continuing to push for Greens policies that increase consumer take-up of electric vehicles and integrate them into the grid as a storage component.
The relative contribution from each of the schemes towards the 20GW target will be determined by AEMO.
Quotes attributable to Adam Bandt, MP:
“People are already starting to install batteries in their homes. We want to supercharge demand for batteries in households and business, saving people money and creating jobs with a program that mirrors the support for rooftop solar.”
“Snowy 2.0 is a nice idea, but if the government was serious about energy storage it would put in place a target and incentives for storage right across the electricity network, not just in one place.”
“To have an orderly energy transition away from coal and gas we need energy storage throughout the system. This includes batteries in homes and businesses to reduce demand, as well as on the grid to provide frequency control. We also need small to medium scale pumped hydro to provide flexible generation to complement wind and solar.”
“If we can help batteries become as cheap as solar panels then coal fired power stations can close, the grid will be stable and power bills will come down. Instead of simply waiting for one big hydro project that could be a decade away, we should act to fast-track many small-scale grid level projects.”
“We don’t have a base load problem, we have a peak load problem. We need flexible generation and energy storage to manage the transition, not more coal.”
Quotes attributable to Senator Hanson-Young:
“South Australia is already leading the world in renewable energy generation and installing grid level battery storage, but there is much more to do.
“Turnbull’s plan for more coal authored by Tony Abbott and Labor’s plan for more gas is not the solution. We need more renewables and more storage.
“A national energy target can support projects like the planned solar thermal power plant in Port Augusta that uses molten salt storage or the proposed pumped hydro using sea water in the Spencer Gulf. Companies like Tesla, Lyon, AES and South Australian-based RedFlow are already looking to my home state to build exciting battery storage solutions.
“The investment in storage technologies here in South Australia must be supported by a national plan.”
Energy storage is booming with costs rapidly declining, driven by the convergence of the digital revolution, the drive to electric vehicles and the growth in renewables. Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects the lithium-ion battery market for energy storage to be worth at least $239 billion between now and 2040. Citibank projects $400 billion in annual storage sales by 2030.
The fundamental attraction of energy storage is that it can “decouple” supply and demand on the electricity grid, making electricity akin to a normal commodity that can be warehoused and distributed with a much greater degree of control. As a result, investment in increased storage will contribute a number of key services to the electricity system, including; better efficiency of the grid; improved capacity factor (utilisation) of the energy generation and the grid; integrating increased renewable energy sources into the electricity grid and enabling the flexibility of those resources; and enhancing the overall reliability and resilience of the electric grid. The recent Greens initiated inquiry chaired by Senator Hanson-Young examined many of these issues in detail.
While energy storage, particularly battery storage, will grow, there are significant barriers to the planning, penetration and the speed of investment needed to underpin a 50% or 100% renewable energy grid. A number of countries and other jurisdictions are putting in place or examining storage targets and other policies to support investment energy storage, including in California which, four years ago, set a 1.3 GW storage target by 2020.
The Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland are rolling out or planning for battery storage to provide greater grid security. South Australia is building the world’s largest lithium ion battery storage facility at the 315 MW Hornsdale Wind Farm installed by Tesla. The giant battery is expected to be up and running by the end of 2017 in preparation for the 2017-18 summer.
The target of 20 GW aims to deliver between 400 & 450 GWh of storage which, according to recent analysis by Professor Andrew Blakers, can underpin a 100% renewable electricity supply.
(Accessed, 24 September 2017)
Bandt - Gideon Reisner: 0429 109 054
Hanson-Young - Amy Moran: 0427 604 760