Call for sustainable energy storage target



A new renewable energy storage target is the fastest way out of Australia’s energy price crisis, an alliance of organizations says.

TBEN Climate Council, Smart Energy Council and community organization Solar Citizens are urging the Albanian government to set a storage target rather than support current generation.

Heidi Lee Douglas, head of Solar Citizens, said on Monday that more than three million Australian households with solar panels on their roofs have protected themselves from rising gas and coal prices.

Governments should allow more people to take up solar energy with a storage target that encourages home or community batteries, including technology to send reserve energy from electric cars to the grid, she said.

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‘Billions of dollars waiting to be unlocked’

The call is also supported by domestic and global renewable energy developers and investors.

“We know there are billions of dollars waiting to be unlocked that will deliver the future of clean energy,” said Simon Corbell, CEO of the Clean Energy Investor Group.

“A target for renewable energy storage sends just the right signals to investors while lowering costs for consumers,” he said.

The organizations say new wind and solar farms coming online will need the support of large batteries and domestic systems to provide reliable, safe energy to Australian homes and businesses.

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Create 100,000 renewable energy jobs

New data from the Climate Council shows that such a goal could unlock $42 billion in investment, create 100,000 renewable energy jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating more construction activity.

To rapidly reduce emissions and reach more than 80 percent renewable energy by 2030, Australia would need to bring at least 18 gigawatts of storage capacity online to support wind and solar, according to the study.

Rob Williamson, a member of the Advanced Materials Battery Council, said a target would not only support demand for off-grid battery storage, but local manufacturing throughout the supply chain in Australia.

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Encourage states to share cheap, clean energy

A renewable energy storage target could also encourage states to share low-cost, clean energy, for example by incorporating pumped hydropower at night and exporting abundant solar energy during the day.

Australia’s energy ministers are finalizing ways to prop up the grid and halt skyrocketing energy bills ahead of a meeting scheduled for next month in Gladstone, Queensland.

But an energy storage target is not on the agenda.

Critics say the current government proposals would support expensive and unreliable coal and gas, which are the main drivers of recent spikes in energy prices for homes and businesses.