The cost of solar, wind and batteries continues to drop because of efficiency gains, economies of scale, wider public acceptance, more product variety and increasing capacity. Battery installations are simpler and quicker than rooftop solar and can be deployed at two to three times the rate. Other reasons to love batteries include:
Australian homes have installed more than 100,000 home batteries with a combined storage size of more than 500MW/1,099 MWh. This is equivalent to almost double the size of Australia’s largest utility battery, Victoria’s Big Battery.
To rapidly progress towards a 100% renewable energy powered and firmed economy, we must accelerate the deployment of renewable energy generators to replace fossil fuel power stations and build in energy storage at the utility scale and through distributed systems (households and commercial buildings). Over the next five years this would include:
Australia could reach 84% renewable energy generation within five years by deploying 64 GW of renewable capacity alongside 13 GW (67 GWh) of energy storage capacity – and 100% renewable energy generation by 2030.
Australia can capitalise on existing technology supply chains to deploy 20.6 GW of solar panel capacity and 4.7 GW/11GWh of storage primarily in the form of building batteries to cut emissions in the building sector over the next five years.
We need to install 0.9GW/2.2GWh of battery storage in buildings each year for the next five years, double current rates. This, with solar panel works, will create 24,400 ongoing jobs in tech installation and maintenance.
Powering industry with 100% renewable electricity can dramatically reduce emissions. The sector is the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases in Australia, responsible for 46% of annual emissions, of which electricity usage is responsible for 41%.
Switching energy contracts to a 100% renewable basis is one of the most competitive decisions industry can take. Repowering Australia’s industrial sector with renewable energy will give industry access to the most competitive and stable priced energy available today, reduce exporters’ exposure to international carbon tariffs and unlock zero emissions export opportunities.
Ample renewable generation and sufficient storage (such as grid scale batteries or other long duration energy storage) will ensure critical industry equipment stays powered 24/7. It's also an opportunity to avoid the ‘chicken and egg’ problem by pairing supply with demand.
Commercial-scale batteries are becoming attractive thanks to an 80% reduction in price since 2010. Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects battery costs to fall another two thirds by 2030 (to A$93/kWh). This will lead to the installation of 27 GW of batteries in Australia by 2050 – a greater capacity than all coal fired power stations in Australia in 2018.
Energy Renaissance builds batteries for vehicles, homes, business and the grid. The company is committed to building a 100% local supply chain and currently sources 92% of components used in its batteries from Australian suppliers. Sixty percent of the batteries that Energy Renaissance produces will be exported to Southeast Asia.
Based in the Hunter Valley, Energy Renaissance is building Australia’s first Giga factory battery and cell manufacturing facility in Tomago. The new facility will create 720 direct jobs and when it is fully operational, Energy Renaissance estimates it will support approximately 475 direct and 245 indirect jobs with skilled workers and technical staff comprising the bulk of direct positions created in the Hunter region.
Batteries are one of six technologies - alongside batteries, wind pumps, wind turbines, solar panels and electrolysers - Australian households, industry and transport can rollout to do the heavy lifting in reducing our emissions by 81% by 2030.
Our Deploy plan shows, in the next five years, we need to install clean technology at a rate of about two units or appliances per household. The good news is, we already know how to make these key technologies – we just need to make more of them and put them to work.
Mass deployment of emission reducing technologies like batteries can create jobs, reduce energy costs, revitalise manufacturing in our regions and urban centres, and help stimulate a green export industry triple the size of our current fossil fuel exports.