Battery storage is one of the hot new investments for the next decade as the need to store renewable energy on demand becomes more pressing. Australia is set to be one of the key world players in its development.
Part of the reason for this comes down to the fact that with a plentiful outback, much of the country needs to have off-grid connectivity. Otherwise, the cost of keeping everything hooked up to the grid would simply become too expensive and waste energy.
There is an increasing demand for battery storage, and as the use of wind, solar and hydroelectric increases as the world becomes more aware of the potential to combat climate change at home, a way to use energy as needed could revolutionize the current grid.
At present, many renewables are weather-dependent, and solar is naturally not usable at night. However, battery storage allows the energy that generates during the daytime to remain until people need it. It also efficiently resolves the need for every watt of generated energy to go into the grid, only for it to go out again when a business or household uses it.
Given Australia’s position as a country with natural resources suited to renewable energy and a need to better manage its energy supply, the improving nature of battery storage should be a key development in the next decade. The nation should make up 30% of total battery storage demand as more than 70,000 Australian households install batteries in 2019 alone.
According to new research from the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report, Australia will overtake Japan this year in residential batter storage installations. Successful subsidy schemes will be one of the key reasons for the uptake, as states and territories make the most of available funding to help roll out as many new batteries as possible.
The subsidies themselves should be worth $104m, and a series of low-interest loans and schemes that respond to increasing demand by boosting funding further will supplement it.
The report said that ‘state governments in Australia are getting behind residential storage’, a move that should make the county ‘one of the most attractive markets in the world.’
As technologies improve and components become cheaper, new products usually hit a point of rapid uptake once they become accessible and can meet all the needs of the user. It appears that this moment has finally arrived, in terms of battery storage, which can fix a major problem in Australia regarding the country’s general lack of grid connectivity to rural places.
It may also help provide a useful patch for politicians who have struggled in the past to deliver a national energy plan. Given that energy strategies have already sapped several political careers, if battery storage can play as big a part in renewable energy as is presently forecast over the next ten years, then it could make the national supply much easier to plan.
The report also noted that the upcoming elections in Australia could either boost or stymie the development of this new sector. The Labor Party has an additional $200m of subsidies in its manifesto to provide 100,000 additional batteries.