Energy storage in Australia is blazing a trail, in no small part due to projects funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Photo credit: Carnegie Wave Energy CETO 6, ARENA
By Jason Deign
The pace of energy storage development in Australia has been underscored by three separate industry announcements in the last week.
Last Thursday, RenewEconomy revealed that US developer SolarReserve had tabled a bid to replace aging coal plants in Port Augusta, South Australia, with a solar-thermal-plus-molten-salt-storage combination.
The same day, news emerged that Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy was planning to pilot the world’s first microgrid combining wave and solar power with battery storage.
And on Saturday, the Chinese-Australian bus maker Brighsun broke the world record for the longest electric vehicle trip on a single charge, after covering 1004km between Melbourne and Sydney.
The headlines came days after government climate change review head Professor Ross Garnaut was profiled in the Sydney Morning Herald as the new chairman of ZEN Energy, a solar installer turned energy storage player.
They also follow hot on the heels of government plans to support storage tied to residential solar. Meanwhile, event organisers such as the Energy Storage World Forum have begun to add Australia to their conference destination lists.
All in all, it is clear energy storage is developing apace across Australia.
One reasons for this is that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which currently faces the threat of closure, has in the past dedicated significant effort and funding to energy storage.
As a result, Australia already boasts an enviable track record in energy storage innovation. Here are 10 projects that have benefited from ARENA cash and are helping Australia blaze a trail in the energy storage sector.
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