Australia set for energy storage boom

There is a lot of encouraging clean-tech news coming from Down Under these days. A report entitled Energy Storage in Australia – Commercial Opportunities, Barriers and Policy Options, compiled by Marchment Hill Consulting, makes the prediction that by 2030 energy storage capacity will reach more than 3GW. The current usage is estimated at around one tenth of that figure.

The report also estimates that the average cost could fall by more than 50% by decade’s end, to reach around USD$300/kW in a best-case scenario. The Australian industry itself has aimed for around $250/kW, which may be a little optimistic given another estimate, this time from Lux Consulting, of $500/kW.

Australian lobby group the Clean Energy Council cites increasing fossil-fuel prices, as well as the falling price of energy storage, as being a key factor in the sector’s predicted growth, claiming the market for energy storage will outshine the photovoltaic solar industry in terms of being a transformative technology.

During an interview with smh.com.au, the Council’s strategic policy manager, Tim Sonnreich said: “Whether policy makers like it or not, it’s coming. The cost-curves are coming down and the costs of alternatives (such as coal and gas) are going up. Storage is becoming a better and better deal.”