Australia leads the world in residential energy storage: Chief Scientist Alan Finkel

Residential energy storage uptake makes Australia global leader.Chief Scientist Alan Finkel co-authors new paper.

Australia leads the charge in residential energy storage, according to a paper co-authored by the Federal Government’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.

In 2017, Australia had nearly 21,000 storage batteries installed in homes across the country, the paper states. This figure is three times more than the total for 2016.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said outcomes like this were why the Turnbull Government “put energy storage on the agenda”.

“We are now not only the world leader in the use of rooftop solar, but also the world leader in the installation of residential battery storage by power capacity,” Frydenberg said.

Install solar: 1.8 million Aussies can’t be wrong

Home solar installations have soared in Australia as solar energy costs have plummeted. Now 1.8 million buildings in Australia have rooftop solar panels. Most of these are residential.

Residential energy storage world leading new paper shows.

Australia already leads the world in solar installations. Now residential energy storage is following suit.

The cost of home batteries like the Tesla Powerwall 2 is also declining, the paper shows; although batteries have taken longer than solar installations to reach this tipping point.

Residential energy storage part of big picture

‘Taking charge: The energy storage opportunity for Australia’ updates a detailed report called ‘The role of energy storage in Australia’s future energy supply mix’. The Australian Council of Learned Academies released the paper in November 2017. It highlights six key points.

  1. Energy storage batteries will help transform the Australian electricity network.
  2. In 2017 Australia led the world in installation of residential battery storage in terms of power capacity.
  3. Lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro are the two most mature energy storage technologies in Australia.
  4. The price of home battery systems like the Tesla Powerwall 2 is falling.
  5. Australia is well placed to expand its mineral exports. Lithium used in batteries is in particular demand.
  6. Australia has the potential to lead global production and export of renewable hydrogen.

Australia revelling in all forms of renewable energy

According to the paper, Australia is ideally placed to optimise wind and solar energy generation.

The falling cost of wind, solar and battery technologies has also increased our uptake of renewable energies.

The paper points to the effectiveness of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery at Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia. The ‘big battery’ can in theory dispatch 100 MW of electricity for almost 90 minutes at full power.

This shows that batteries can add stability and dispatchable power to the grid, the paper concludes.