Greens push 20GW energy storage target to shift debate from baseload

Greens push 20GW energy storage target to shift debate from baseload

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Greens unveil plan for 20GW of energy storage by 2030, providing incentives for storage at household and grid level, and try to move the energy debate beyond the limited scope of baseload vs renewables.

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tesla storage south australia

The Australian Greens have unveiled a new policy that aims for 20GW of energy storage to be installed across the nation by 2030, providing incentives for storage at household and grid level, and try to move the energy debate beyond the limited scope of baseload vs renewables.

The policy was unveiled in South Australia on Wednesday by deputy leader and climate and energy spokesman Adam Bandt, and South Australia Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Their goal is to try and “supercharge” the household and business storage market, and set national milestones similar to the renewable energy target to reach their goal by 2030.

The Greens say that 20GW could translate to 400GWh of storage, enough they say – according to recent studies by the ANU – to provide sufficient back-up for a 100 per cent renewable energy grid.

To reach such storage levels, it would presumably need to include a major scheme such as Snowy 2.0 or Tassie 2.0, as well as battery storage at local and grid level, other pumped hydro storage of the type being considered for South Australia, and solar thermal.

The fact that most of these projects are having their first run in South Australia – the Tesla big battery, the AGL virtual power plant, the Aurora solar thermal project, and the Cultana pumped hydro facility – made it an appropriate place for the launch of an energy storage target.

South Australia also has the highest level of renewable energy penetration of any large modern grid, with wind providing around half of its demand, and rooftop solar another 7-8 per cent.

“To have an orderly energy transition away from coal and gas we need energy storage throughout the system,” Bandt says.

“This includes batteries in homes and businesses to reduce demand, as well as on the grid to provide frequency control. We also need small to medium scale pumped hydro to provide flexible generation to complement wind and solar.”

The political debate around energy baseload has become stuck in the argument over baseload versus variable renewables, and become bogged down by the Coalition push to have the ageing Liddell kept on line and even a new coal generator built in north Queensland.

In doing so, the debate has largely and deliberately ignored the subtleties and complexities identified by the recent Finkel Review and the AEMO reports, which focus on the need for flexible and “dispatchable” generation – and which make it clear that properly managed, a high penetration renewables grid is eminently feasible.

“We don’t have a base load problem, we have a peak load problem,” Bandt says. “We need flexible generation and energy storage to manage the transition, not more coal.”

A glimpse into how quickly the tradition could and might happen came the unveiling of the first stage of the Tesla big battery last week, when Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed that half of the project had already been installed. The quicker we get more renewables into the system, the better, Musk said.

Major manufacturers in Australia are also picking up on the benefits of renewables, for cost and reliability. The new owners of Whyalla Steel and the former OneSteel assets across the country plan a program to transfer their energy sources to renewables and storage, as does the country’s biggest greenhouse proposed by Nectar Farms.

Across the globe, the world’s biggest companies – Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft – are heading for 100 per cent renewables  (most by 2020), and these are being matched by big investment banks such as JP Morgan and Citibank, and brewers and retailers like In-Bev (owner of Foster’s) and IKEA.

Australian networks also say that 100 per cent renewable energy, or thereabouts, is both doable and affordable, but the country has yet to see a coherent plan to take the energy share to a high level of renewables and with the necessary infrastructure and storage to support it.

The Greens say their energy storage target is part of a suite of initiatives that include the creation of a Frequency Control and Ancillary Services Market to enable participation of energy storage in fast frequency response, and the shifting to a 5 minute settlement rule for the wholesale energy market. Many of these are already in train.

It also proposes to support and extend the various state government energy storage tenders (currently being held by South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, and on a smaller scale by the ACT and the Northern Territory) to push for the increased take-up of electric vehicles and to introduce them into the grid as a storage component.

For consumers, the policy suite would see a small-scale energy storage scheme (based on the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme which applies to rooftop solar), which would be managed by the Clean Energy Regulator. Systems of up to 250KW/1MWh will be eligible.

On the grid scale, it proposes establishing a Commonwealth Large Scale Energy Storage Scheme, with $2.2 billion in funding over 4 years to contract and build energy storage at grid level, managed by AEMO and the CER.

“People are already starting to install batteries in their homes,” Bandt says. “We want to supercharge demand for batteries in households and business, saving people money and creating jobs with a program that mirrors the support for rooftop solar.”

“Snowy 2.0 is a nice idea, but if the government was serious about energy storage it would put in place a target and incentives for storage right across the electricity network, not just in one place.”

Hanson-Young says that South Australia is already leading the world in renewable energy generation and was installing grid level battery storage, but there is much more to do.

“Turnbull’s plan for more coal authored by Tony Abbott and Labor’s plan for more gas is not the solution. We need more renewables and more storage.

“A national energy target can support projects like the planned solar thermal power plant in Port Augusta that uses molten salt storage or the proposed pumped hydro using sea water in the Spencer Gulf. The investment in storage technologies here in South Australia must be supported by a national plan.”

The Greens policy outline acknowledges the critical role that energy storage can play to “decouple” supply and demand on the electricity grid, making electricity akin to a normal commodity that can be warehoused and distributed with a much greater degree of control.

This can boost the efficiency of the grid; improved utilisation of generation, increase renewable energy sources and make them flexible.

“While energy storage, particularly battery storage, will grow, there are significant barriers to the planning, penetration and the speed of investment needed to underpin a 50% or 100% renewable energy grid.

“A number of countries and other jurisdictions are putting in place or examining storage targets and other policies to support investment energy storage, including in California which, four years ago, set a 1.3 GW storage target by 2020.”


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  1. Rod 3 years ago

    Basslink 1.0 is having some voltage issues this week and has been throttled 50%
    Although expensive, Basslink 2.0 has so much potential I hope it is given priority.

    • Tom 3 years ago

      Regarding Basslink 2.0 – what exactly would it be useful for, and who should pay for it and why?

      • Rod 3 years ago

        One obvious benefit would be redundancy to avoid losing the connection to the mainland again. Doubling the amount that can be exported would allow more wind to be built making that more attractive financially.
        As for who pays, it benefits the NEM and Tassie so I would think some sort of split.

        • Tom 3 years ago

          @ Rod – you’ve addressed 3 issues, so I’ll respond to them in turn.

          1) “Avoid losing the connection to the mainland” – so what? The only reason that was a problem in 2015-16 was because our reservoirs were so empty to start with. If our reservoir levels were maintained at a higher level the 6 month outage would have been an absolute non-issue from an energy security perspective.

          2) “Allow more wind to be built” – If it is windy in Tassie it is also likely to be windy in Victoria, and most likely in SA too. SA has heaps of wind, and Vic has a lot too, and also has a phenomenal amount coming on line. When it is windy in Tassie in a couple of years time, we could export it to the mainland, but the mainland will also be flooded with wind power, so we will get paid bugger-all for our energy exports. So, what’s the point? Mind you – this argument only applies when we’ve got spilling dams, which is only about 8 weeks per year – otherwise we need another 800MW of installed wind capacity until this becomes a problem.

          3) “It benefits the NEM and Tassie” – how exactly does it benefit Tassie? We could bullet-proof our energy security by filling our dams (for 1/3 the cost of a new Basslink at most). We’ll get paid stuff-all for our forced wind exports. So the benefit to Tassie is very, very little.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            1) More reason to add sensible wind.
            2) Tassie is far windier than Vic
            3) Income for clean power exports, draw a line in the sand!

          • Tom 3 years ago

            All those possible without a $1.1 billion plus second Basslink.

            And all of those at a competitive disadvantage in Tasmania than on the mainland, if supplying the mainland, after transmission losses both sides of the Strait.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            A competitive advantage soon when carbon becomes priced.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Except that Tassie wind is firm because of your hydro (and more so if you have some PHES) whereas SA and Vic wind is not. You can only earn income for your impoverished state if you can supply when the others can’t. Hence Basslink 2.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            PHES would cost just as much to construct in Tassie as on the mainland, and the mainland would not have less transmission losses hence be at a competitive advantage.

            Pumped hydro would be good in Tasmania if we were storing Tasmanian on-island generation (as opposed to Basslink imports), but for about 44 weeks of the year (when we don’t have multiple spilling hydro dams) this would only become an issue once we’ve got about 1500MW of installed wind capacity (assuming we put all of our eggs in the wind basket and don’t diversify new generation sources). We’ve only got just over 300MW at the moment, so we’re a long way from that.

          • neroden 3 years ago

            A long way from 1500 MW… or about five years away from it?

          • Tom 3 years ago

            With our current government and opposition – a long way from 1500MW I’m afraid. Neither side have any vision for energy.

          • Rod 3 years ago

            I must be missing something. I agree with Mike. The value IMO lies in the opportunity to use your extra wind first (save your water) and export to the grid when NEM demand is high and wind is low. Or are you saying if the wind is low you need all your hydro for Tassie?

          • Tom 3 years ago

            “Greater ability to arbitrage” – this is one purported benefit of a second Basslink.

            It’s a great myth really, because we hardly use Basslink for arbitrage anyway – we’re either usually on export or import, depending on if we’ve got surplus streamflow or not. See graph below.


            I’m not saying this is how Basslink should be managed – I’m just saying that’s how it is actually managed, and an extra 500MW of interconnector capacity isn’t going to help us – it will just help us get into trouble faster by running our dams empty faster.

            “When wind is low you need all you hydro for Tassie” – not quite, but close. Our maximum demand is about 1700MW in winter and probably 1400-1500MW in summer. Our hydro generation capacity is about 2200MW (assuming no dams are empty). So if we had 2 Basslinks and no wind we would struggle to find an extra 1000MW to export. That can be easily fixed though – just install more generators into existing dams. It will run the dams emptier faster, but it would increase our power capacity.

            Again, all of this is of benefit to Victoria, not to Tasmania. If Victoria wants to pay for a second Basslink, then Tasmania should support them by increasing our power capacity. It would be like a brand new 500MW peaking plant for Victoria – but only if Tasmania guaranteed maximum supply at times, for example, that Victorian wholesale electricity price exceeds $500/MWh.

            If this extra 500MW is what saves Victoria from a power shortage and so wholesale prices top out at $1000/MWh instead of $14,000/MWh, then it would save Victorian consumers and industries (with peak state demand of 9000MW) $117 million per hour. Victoria would only need 10 hours of this to pay for a second Basslink. However, because everything is privatised over there, the savings are unlikely to be passed straight through to consumers, and certainly not to the government, and the (also privatised) generators would be the losers, so I doubt there’s going to be the motivation for Victoria to pay for it either.

          • Rod 3 years ago

            OK thanks for the numbers. It does surpise me how it is managed at the moment. I guess until you have more wind, you will be net importers. And the limited opportunity to use arbitrage will mean new wind will have difficulty making the numbers work.
            As for who pays: We in SA could really use a second interconnector at the moment but determining who would benefit the most from interconnection with NSW would be a bunfight. Maybe the NEM needs to look at at least partly funding interconnectors.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Tom the simple fact is that Tas needs income and exporting RE seems ideal and compatible with Tas as a state with sustainability high on the agenda. I don’t understand why you see this as negative.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            I totally agree – but don’t get confused – a second Basslink has no part in this strategy. Certainly not for $1.1 billion.

            Tassie currently has an average 1600GWh shortfall of renewable generation which we supplement with methane and net Basslink imports. I think the Basslink “sweet spot” is 1000GWh pa of net Basslink exports – that would be “full export” 50% of the time, “full import” 25% of the time, and idle 25% of the time.

            So that’s 2600GWh pa of extra renewable generation which could be installed just to get to where we should be – equal to 900MW of wind at CF 35% or 1200MW of SAT PV at CF 25%.

            Also consider that once electric vehicles hit their own sweet spot (the Nokia 3210 moment – they’re at the “car phone” stage right now), we’ll quickly have an extra 2500GWh – 3000GWh pa of on-island demand as we replace petroleum with electricity. So that’s the above extra generation again.

            None of this involves a second Basslink. We need to forget about this “second Basslink” red herring and concentrate on increasing our on-island generation.

            Also, instead of exporting our electricity to build other states’ industries, wouldn’t we be far better off increasing generation to use on our own island to build our own industries?

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Tom – I’m absolutely with you on the urgent need to add considerable RE to Tas – been saying so well before the Basslink debacle, before even decommissioning of TVPS was being looked at. So I agree with your logic: Step 1: make sure enough wind/solar goes in to obviate ever needing FF even after a dry year Step 2: prepare for full electrification asap so that Tas can export its RE as embedded transport value instead of paying for fuel imports for an embedded transport cost Step 3: continue RE development so that Tas can also earn from exporting 2GW at peak rates into Vic ie set up both BL1 and BL2 for maximum export.

            I would hope the industries you develop will preserve the values of the island, with sustainable timber (both plantation and high value selective), aquaculture (but not of the Tassal kind) and agriculture. At the moment I eat NZ and French jam – why is there no Tas jam on the shelves!?

          • Tom 3 years ago

            2GW at peak rates! That would be awesome, but there are a couple of issues.

            Firstly, Basslink 2.0 as costed ($1.1 billon) was for another 500MW cable – I don’t know how much a 1500MW cable would cost but I’d be guessing well over $2 billion.

            There would also need to be about 1500MW more hydro generation capacity installed, as well as upgrading transmission lines. This could be done, but it would take extraordinary discipline from Hydro Tasmania to only crank them up during really high Victorian peaks so as to not run the dams dry and get us into trouble again. This is a degree of discipline that I don’t think they have.

            Finally, if an extra 2000MW was supplying Victoria during their peaks, it would very likely reduce the Victorian spot price so that it isn’t much of a peak any more.

            On “high value selective timber” – at the moment this means “high value logs selected out of the clear-felled rainforest coup”. Until they can extract the “selective timber” without building roads (for example, by walking deep into the forest, cutting a tree down, and hiring one of our defence forces’ Chinook helicopters to winch it out), then “selective logging” is about as selective as “natural gas” is natural. (You don’t hear the terms “natural crude oil” or “natural coal” bandied about much).

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        Tasmania has huge wind resources (chickens often get blown off coastal pastures out to sea, according to Mark ‘Chopper’ Read’s book) so why not harness those wind resources and a) save water energy potential in the Tassie dams, or b) export that surplus power to the mainland to secure the Apple Isle a good source of revenue from their clean energy.

        • Tom 3 years ago

          Totally agree with using our variable energy generation resources; totally agree with “storing it in our dams” by using our variable (wind) power instead of tapping our dams.

          As for “export that surplus power to the mainland” – Tassie’s minimum demand is about 850MW. We’ve currently got 300MW of wind capacity, with another 300MW hopefully coming on line. Given an extra 500MW from Basslink 1.0 – wind is a long way from running into demand constraints.

          Even if we over-built wind and were forced into exports in periods of high wind hence high generation, it is likely that Victoria, and probably also SA are also very windy at that same time, which would flood all of SE Australia with wind power and would push the wholesale electricity price very low.

          So even though we (Tas) could sell it, it would be next to worthless anyway.

          One Basslink is great for Tasmania. A second Basslink – we’d take it – but it wouldn’t be worth paying for.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            When the carbon tax was in effect (2012-2014) you guys exported your clean hydro energy from Tasmania to Victoria like magic.What’s happened since?

          • Tom 3 years ago

            What’s happened since? In the two years before the carbon tax (after it became clear there would be one, but before it was legislated), we generated heaps of energy from methane, exported as little as we could, and let our dams build up as high as we could in preparation for it.

            During the 2 years that the carbon tax was happening, we didn’t burn any methane, hardly imported anything and generated as much energy as we could to export to the mainland.

            Unfortunately, at the end of this, our dams were pretty empty, and so when we had a pretty dry spring in 2015 and then Basslink tripped for six months at the end of 2015, we found ourselves in a spot of bother.

            “What happened since?” – Tassie needs about 11,500GWh of electricity per year – 10,500GWh for consumption, and 1000GWh for transmission losses. Hydro averages 9000GWh (although of course, it varies a lot, depending on how much it rains and also how much we choose to let the dam levels rise or fall). Wind averages 900GWh. The other 1600GWh is either net Basslink imports or methane (Tamar Valley Power Station), or a combination.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            “depending on how much it rains”
            Use your wind to fill in those gaps, don’t be stupid.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            We’re on the same page – Tassie need more wind!

            It’s just that a second Basslink is not going to help our situation. Not $1.1 billion of benefit anyway.

        • Tom 3 years ago

          PS – This is what happens when it’s windy in SA and Victoria, which it usually is when it’s windy in Tasmania.

          Selling an extra 500MW into an already oversupplied market isn’t going to be of much value.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Obviously an increase in Tasmania’s wind would primarily guard against drought in their state so that they can conserve their hydro resources.

      • Colin 3 years ago


        As one born in Tasmania but lived largely in Sydney I see this as why Tas is so impoverished.

        If you want to be taken seriously provide links to authoritative sources to back up your claims.

        • Tom 3 years ago

          This link is a good start:

          It’s written in a very politically correct way, but the message is “A second Basslink is going to be useless under almost every possible scenario unless Tasmania closes down all its industries”. And it deliberately didn’t model the energy security benefits of restoring the dam levels.

          As for Sydney’s economy Vs Tasmania’s – as you can see Tasmania actually brings money into Australia’s economy, whereas NSW pisses money out of Australia’s economy. So why is Sydney richer than Tasmania?

          Basically because Sydney is a parasite economy that sucks the wealth from other states. Tasmania makes Australia rich, then Sydney makes Tasmania poor. How does it do this? Whenever a Tasmanian pays bank interest, insurance premiums, money annually skimmed off our superannuation balance (equal over a lifetime to 25% of one’s life savings), it ends up on Sydney’s finance industry and Sydney’s economy. Even the extra income tax that Tasmanians pay to fund Sydneysiders’ negative gearing and CGT discounts and superannuation subsidies is a wealth transfer.

          Sydney would be nothing without feeding off the useful states that actually bring money into Australia – WA, Tas, NT, and to a lesser extent Qld and SA.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Tom – thanks for the link. At first blush it looks very interesting but I’ll have a more thorough read before commenting, other than what struck me from the intro: it reflects on the problem that PHES developers face. That is, with the level of policy uncertainty in the NEM at present, almost entirely due to luddite Fed politicians, means no one can make predictions on the viability of major and disruptive, but necessary changes.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Tom – thanks for the link. I responded earlier but the comments seems to be lost in cyber space. I’ve had a brief read, and it is certainly a comprehensive paper (including the appendix). I don’t think I would make as cynical conclusion as you! I think one thing that is completely lost in all the “market analysis” palaver is that there is no way that a mathematical model can make sensible predictions on local specifics over long periods of time when so many parameters are subject to uncertainty. The nonsense that they can is one adopted by our current lily liveried political class and commentators to avoid responsible decision making! Transmission projects are always primarily “political” even though with enough massaging you can get the outcome you want. And so it’s not surprising the report finds the 2IC feasible only under a limited range of scenarios, including the one you allude to. Under an alternative scenario tho’, ie where the political decision was made that Tas should look to a sustainable prosperous future based on maximising the value of its “clean image” in ag and aquaculture, exporting clean power (either as embodied energy or electrons) and completely electrifying its transport sector, I would agree with you that there would be a imminent period of intense investment in wind to first make the state drought proof and with sufficient surplus to never import from Vic. The 2IC would then be quite a time down the track, and commissioning post 2030 would seem to fit that and the likely time when it would generate considerable benefit, based on the information in the report. I also suspect that by that time, mere duplication of Basslink, in terms of capacity, would be recognised as insufficient.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            I’d pretty much second that.

    • Mark Roberts 3 years ago

      Given the major outage of Basslink and also the transmission outages in SA after storms, I think a more distributed model would give a far more resilient power network for the country. It needs to be designed to intelligently island itself if major transmission is lost. A larger number of smaller storage (and generation) assets would enable this.

  2. Rod 3 years ago

    I thought we already have a FCAS market?
    Admitting my ignorance here but can someone pls explain what the figures are below “energy” if not frequency control?

    • Paul McArdle 3 years ago
      • daroiD8ungais7 3 years ago

        Paul, I think Rod’s question might have been; what specifically is inhibiting grid connected batteries from participating in FCAS right now? AFAIK there is nothing (could be wrong), which raises the question of what exactly the Greens are proposing here.

        • Rod 3 years ago

          Thanks, no I actually miss understood the meaning of this: “the creation of a Frequency Control and Ancillary Services Market to enable participation of energy storage” But I was also interested to understand what the AEMO descriptions meant.

      • Rod 3 years ago

        Thanks Paul. Great article.

  3. Brian Tehan 3 years ago

    How did they come up with 20 gW – it seems very high. On NEM watch it says total national usage is 26 GW at the moment.

  4. Rob Bussey 3 years ago

    What are the incentives and how do they propose to fund this? A lot can change between now and 2030.

  5. Joe 3 years ago

    Premier Jay has led the way with vision for the future and he is already implementing. The Greens have put forward their vision and there is plenty to like in their proposal. Their problem is that they at the moment can’t form government in their own right. The hope maybe that Federal Labor will do some of the implementation of The Greens ideas when Labor wins the next election.

    • Ian 3 years ago

      Isn’t that always the way. The brawn muscles in on the brain’s ideas.

    • Tom 3 years ago

      Doesn’t matter if they can’t form government – every elected representative has been given a microphone (if they know how to use it). And The Greens are clearly using that microphone to contribute this to this discussion, and no doubt it will slightly steer the ship HMAS Energy to the sensible direction.

  6. Malcolm M 3 years ago

    The Greens should have proposed that energy consumed in the storage process by pumped hydro or batteries be exempt from the requirement for renewable energy certificates. In the report on the the Cultana pumped storage hydro project, the purchase of certificates was the largest single operating cost. This requirement is a perverse incentive, because it increases the cost of balancing. Removal of the requirement should encourage the use of our existing pumped hydros.

  7. Mark Roest 3 years ago

    Let’s consider the capacity, rather than the power. 400 GWh at $100/kWh is $40 billion, which is said to be enough storage for the entire nation to run on renewable energy. This needs to be compared to the cost of the various pumped hydro systems, in the same terms: how many dollars to build and operate the system (for one cycle), divided by its kWh capacity for one cycle (filling the system up to capacity and emptying it one time). Since the timeline is by 2030, and most of the construction would take place after 2022 (5 years out), consider the cycle life as 15,000 cycles (41 years at 1 cycle per day), because that’s what we can expect from next-generation battery technology.
    When you get a number for wind and solar total capacity needed, you should be able to calculate it at US$0.30 per Watt for solar (possibly as low as US$0.25). Wind energy should be possible to build for about 50% to 75% of what it costs today, due to structural and generator improvements that should be commercialized by then.

    • Jake Frederics 3 years ago

      Figure for storage low by a factor of more than 6…..

      • RobSa 3 years ago

        Figure for storage accurate.

        • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

          Sure, it is like taking the cost of the bricks required and the claiming that is how much it will cost to build the house…..

          • RobSa 3 years ago

            Oh, I know.

    • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

      Mark I think it’s better to look at the levelised cost of storage (ie the lifecycle cost) so as to be able to factor in the shorter life of batteries vs PHES. I currently have PHES projects in SA ranging from a LCOS of 4c/kWh to 9c/kWh. We have offers to buy solar for 4c/kWh, so we could deliver dispatchable RE for between 8-13c/kWh. This is based on 6h full output.

      • neroden 3 years ago

        If you’re figuring lifespan differences over a long period, you have to take inflation and time value of money into account, which means that your LCOS is based on a guess about interest rates. 😛

        You’re also guessing the lifespans. We don’t actually know whether current battery technology as shorter or longer life than pumped storage hydro (for which the pumps and turbines must be replaced occasionally).

  8. Ian 3 years ago

    Until someone points out a Koala in the tree it’s very difficult to see but not something that can be unseen. Well done to the Greens for spotting the obvious.

    • Ian 3 years ago

      There are two things missing in the Greens’ plans. 1. Electrical vehicles. 2. Battery manufacturing. Without these their plans are naught.

      • technerdx6000 3 years ago

        Also electric car factory. Tesla combined vehicle and battery Gigafactory anyone?

      • Jexpat 3 years ago

        Considering the amount of filthy coal presently in Australia’s energy mix, electric vehicles aren’t terribly helpful from n overall emmissions standpoint.

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          On the contrary Jexpat – transport consumes about the same amount of energy as electricity production in Australia. If converted to electric, that input would drop by a factor of 4-5x and if RE is used as the input, we would eliminate >25% of our emissions (quite apart from saving $36B imports and adding about 10% local content from transport).

          • Jexpat 3 years ago

            You’ve missed the point.

            The source of electricity -which is what powers electric vehicles matters.

            If you live in say, Oregon, the amount of the electricity derived from filthy coal or other fossil fuel sources to power those vehicles is relatively low- and getting lower by leaps and bounds.

            A comperable electric vehicle in NSW ion the other hand is largely powered by burning coal.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            I can’t imagine anyone motivated to buy an EV now, charging it using other than RE: the price alone would be enough of an incentive. And in the future, the low to zero price of solar and free charging points powered by solar will make it a no brainer.

            I don’t think you have a point to make!

          • Jexpat 3 years ago

            Well, I live in the year 2017. Soon to be 2018.

            At present: and with what we see from the LNP, and even from the controlling faction of Labor -along with their captured media, that’s where we’re up to.

            Perhaps that will change over time. We shall see. But for now, corruption and political inertia rules the roost.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Yes, it’s hard to comprehend stupid at that scale, let alone figure how to change it!

    • Greg Hudson 3 years ago

      6. Make home solar mandatory on all new homes or homes renovating/replacing roofs.
      6a. Make home storage also mandatory on new homes.

  9. Jake Frederics 3 years ago

    I was part of a team that recently did a study for a major company in Australia. The objective of the exercise was to calculate the cost to set up a base load solar power station with battery as storage component.

    The cost was calculated at between 16.9 and 20.7 million dollars per base load MWh. The assumption was made to provide this 1MWh of output over the full 24h cycle (1 day autonomy). This calculating did not include land required, transmission/sub infrastructure etc.

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

      You’re just a troll ‘Jake’. Are you proud of yourself?

      Give yourself an uppercut and all will be forgiven, doofus.

      • Jake Frederics 3 years ago

        What the h@11 mate. Don’t you like what me or don’t you like facts.

        Fact. Storage currently approx $650k per MWh.
        Fact. To generate 1 x MWh per day, every day cost approx $280k unsubsidised. (SE QLD area installation)

        Use your facts loser.

        • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

          – No it’s currently around $300/MWh Soon to reach lower than $100/MWh from international energy cost trends
          – QLD has no significant storage to speak of. The ghost of Joe presiding?
          – You don’t have to mollycoddle your comment outbursts from ‘hell’ to ‘h@!!’ on this site you pissweak idiot. Let it all out.
          – Storage reduces the retail cost of generation, as well as vice versa.
          – If you’re too stupid to recognize an energy disruption in progress, don’t complain later.

          • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

            That is correct but that is just the battery pack cost. On our business we had it at ~$350 / MWh.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Jake Frederics (1) I think someone is trying to troll you by going by the name of Jake Frederics (2) You should sue that fucker!

          • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

            It is me. You banned me fuckers. I won’t go down without flames 🙂

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Quelle surprise.

          • Rod 3 years ago

            “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw

            Me thinks it best to ignore this little piggy. No one on this forum is silly enough to believe his alternative facts.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Yeah no worries. I’ll go down into the ditch where these pigs like to wrestle, so that you don’t have to.

          • Rod 3 years ago

            But he enjoys it. Deny him that pleasure and he will get bored and go and stink somewhere else.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Can we compare our pay cheques?

          • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

            Discredit any of the figures I mentioned. Not theoretical or based on projections for 2027 but figures based on actual projects or real business cases from today. Come on, I dare you.

            The irony is that with I believe that energy production and the current grid by default will have to change drastically…… We all agree on that.

            What I don’t agree with is unnecessary aggressive investment in renewables with questionable business cases. We all know pricing (especially in storage) is going down. Why stand in line for a new “iphone” when you can implement the same thing in 5y for 50% less?

            Don’t let a pig shit on your party, if you have actual facts from today; now; please let me have it. I’ve put my numbers on the table (real number) and only replies I get is “Bullshit”, “can’t be real”

          • neroden 3 years ago

            Phone up Tesla and get a quote inclusive of installation. I promise you that it will be much less than the bogus numbers you guessed for storage costs. Musk is on record regarding the bulk-scale pack pricing ($250/kWh) and installation is less than that in bulk (<$250/kwh), so your numbers are high by at least 30%.

          • RobSa 3 years ago

            Your boss is going to be unhappy. You may have to find a better source of income. See if you can find some integrity while you are at it.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            You’re absolutely right.

        • RobSa 3 years ago

          Fail, fake and phony. Lies.

      • RobSa 3 years ago

        Not troll. Paid interference.

    • RobSa 3 years ago

      No you were not. You are fabricating nonsense because someone with money asked you to.

    • Jeremy C 3 years ago

      ” The assumption was made to provide this 1MWh of output over the full 24h cycle”

      A bit of clarity please, was this to provide 1 MWh for 24 hours? If so you have your maths wrong as it should be 24 MWh. The other clarification needed is whether that was 1 MWh despatchable at all times i.e if your load uses1 MWh then another 1 MWh is immediately made available? Finally, you haven’t given a breakdown of the $650k per MWh and laid out the assumptions and specifications built into that 650k and what you are perhaps hiding….

      • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

        Since I was “banned” because my comments do not 100% align with the values of this site…..

        You are correct. It was calculated to be able to provide 1MW for 24 hours.

        the calculated installed solar capacity to do this was 6.8MW and the storage capacity 21.8MWh. The $650k per MWh includes the battery pack cost (~$350k / MWh) and installation and equipment (~$300k / MWh)

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          These are Tesla Powerwall 2 type costs – seem high for a 6.8MW system. In any case, they are way higher than PHES.

          • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

            Costs for un-subsidized solar was calculated at ~$950k per MW installed capacity.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago


          • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

            How much is it then? This is really cheap and is shows clearly where the bottleneck currently is …

          • neroden 3 years ago

            Yeah, Jake should use the PowerPack costs ($250k/MWh) rather than the PowerWall costs, at the very least. And his installation costs are just silly. It simply doesn’t cost that much to install them.

    • Tom 3 years ago

      To someone who doesn’t know his POWER (MW) from his ENERGY(MWh), I call bullshit.

  10. Jake Frederics 3 years ago

    400GWh battery storage would cost more than $250B (yes, 250 BILLION) dollars based on current PROJECTED very large scale storage pricing of around $650k per MWh.

    Sounds good, let start building tomorrow.

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago


    • RobSa 3 years ago

      Interference. Lies. Fake. Shill. Paid comment.

    • Tom 3 years ago

      $650K/MWh? A Nissan Leaf’s batteries are less than that – and you get the rest of the car for free. Do the sums Jake.

      • Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

        Hi Tom. Yes, by latest account Leaf is now @ ~$250k / MWh for the battery pack. That is not that far from the $350 we worked with. The additional equipment and installation adds a lot on top. Don’t know but I suppose the leaf electronics will also a lot on top.

        • neroden 3 years ago

          Actually the difference between $350 and $250 is a full 28.5% of your battery costs. So the numbers you worked with are seriously wrong.

          And the “additional equipment and installation” costs nothing even close to what you’re guessing. I don’t know where you got those ludicrous high installation cost numbers. Maybe you should just get a quote from Tesla instead of making up inflated numbers.

    • Ken Fabian 3 years ago

      Don’t leave out the biggest subsidy of all – the amnesty on climate costs and other externalities. A low estimate of what emissions will really cost would add $100 a tonne to Australia’s cleanest coal.

  11. Kevin Brown 3 years ago

    Incentivising consumers to invest in behind the meter storage is brilliant policy. It not only reduces your electricity account but also reduces peak loads and the need for grid upgrades leading to higher connection fees.

    A premium could be assigned to consumers on smart meters signed up to demand response contracts.

  12. RobSa 3 years ago

    Here comes the misinformation campaign. Giles look at the commentor below called Jake Frederics. Paid advocacy, clear as a bell. Reneweconomy is being manipulated by professional shills.

  13. Richard 3 years ago

    Greens just won my vote back from Labor

  14. Jake Frederics2 3 years ago

    I suggest you un-ban me. That is unless you don’t want any comments that do not perfectly align with those of everyone else. Why the censorship? Nobody is “paying” me to participate.

  15. onesecond 3 years ago

    The Greens sound like the Australian party that makes the most sense and is actually forward looking.

    • Brunel 3 years ago

      For the Greens to be truly sensible, they need to demand that the fee for each 457 visa be increased to $50k/year.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Its been that way for a long time!

  16. Ken Fabian 3 years ago

    No doubt that support for storage is the logical next step.

    There is not a shred of doubt that the costs of providing the grid to our rural home far exceeds the revenues – even before we added solar and batteries. Rural Australia abounds in situations like ours, where a few homes or farms have long runs of poles and wires, requiring a lot of upkeep. We now supply far more energy to the grid than we use but not enough to change that calculation. Cheaper to supply us a Powerwall or a large agricultural operation a Powerpack (or competing battery option) outright than what they do now. But I’d be happy with a generous subsidy and let the leftover savings from poles and wires being wound back go towards the investments the Liberals and Nationals appear determined to curtail.

    It was not unreasonable to spread the costs to spread the benefits; like insurance, but the benefits are easier to achieve by other means now, at much lower cost. This isn’t reason to abandon the “spread the costs to spread the benefits” model, but it is cause to seriously rework it; guaranteed returns for poles and wires need much more compelling evidence that they are necessary, to improve grids in ways that deliver the benefits.

    Batteries with solar at the far reaches of the grid – replacing the grid – are a no-brainer right now. As solar and battery costs continue to come down that balance point shifts inwards from the edges and encompasses more of the grid. This improvement in overall cost efficiency lowers costs overall and frees up revenues for investments in larger scale RE + storage options.

    At the other end of this, the use of the grid to give geographic reach – and thus weather differential reach to large RE production assets – as well as access the heavy duty hydro storage and supply to large industrial users still makes sense. And the accumulated PV and storage in homes and businesses will be threaded all through it, available with innovative and equitable costing arrangements to the managers of grids.

    Large scale batteries don’t need to supply days at a time to deliver tangible benefits; they smooth out the differences between variable supply and varying demand at seconds, minutes and hours and they allow fossil fuel plant to shift firmly into the role of backup to renewables. The role that this stage of this essential transition requires of them. Expect emissions reductions to more closely follow the uptake of RE as a result.

    Next stage is enough storage to cover every night following every sunny day; something cost effective already at the PV fitted home level. Which says it will be cost effective with economies of scale when done at grid level. Fossil fuel plant’s place will be even more clearly that of backup, rather than “baseload”. And the relative costs of keeping such plant for less and less time spent operating will only make the cost effectiveness of greater investment in storage more starkly obvious.

    Like the Climate Council says, it’s politics holding The Transition back, not technology.

  17. neroden 3 years ago

    Good for the Greens for changing the conversation.

  18. Ken Fabian 3 years ago

    I do wish this kind of policy had been proposed first by Labor – or even LNP for that matter, were they capable of being rational about it.

    The strong determination to differentiate themselves from The Greens on every policy could overwhelm the small amount of rationality Labor have been showing. But The Greens seem pragmatic enough to support it whoever proposed it.

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