The Australian Greens has proposed a new policy which would see an increase in the  national energy storage target and incentives for households and business.

The policy was launched in Adelaide by Deputy Leader and spokesperson on climate and energy, Adam Bandt MP, and Senator for South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young.

The policy proposes a legislated target of 20GW of multi-hour storage by 2030, with annual milestones across the National Electricity Market and WA and NT networks.

“People are already starting to install batteries in their homes. 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,” Mr Brandt said.

“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.

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

“If we can help batteries become as cheap as solar panels then coal fired power stations can close, the grid will be stable and power bills will come down. Instead of simply waiting for one big hydro project that could be a decade away, we should act to fast-track many small-scale grid level projects.

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

The new Energy Storage Target is modelled on the existing Renewable Energy Target as well as overseas storage targets.

The policy includes:

Small scale

  • Support for behind-the-meter residential and business energy storage, including establishing a small-scale energy storage scheme (based on the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme which applies to rooftop solar) managed by the Clean Energy Regulator. Systems of up to 250 KW/1MWh will be eligible
  • Support realistic and appropriate standards for household and SME storage, particularly batteries, and oppose unnecessary restrictions on residential storage installations and connections

Grid scale

  • Establishing a Commonwealth Large-Scale Energy Storage Scheme, with $2.2 billion in funding over four years to contract and build energy storage at grid level, managed by AEMO and the Clean Energy Regulator
  • Reform of Frequency Control and Ancillary Services Market to enable participation of energy storage in fast frequency response
  • Shifting to a five minute settlement rule for the wholesale energy market
  • Supporting, and where possible expanding, state government energy storage tenders
  • Continuing to push for Greens policies that increase consumer take-up of electric vehicles and integrate them into the grid as a storage component

The relative contribution from each of the schemes towards the 20GW target will be determined by AEMO.

SA senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said South Australia is already leading the world in renewable energy generation and 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,” Ms Hanson-Young said.

“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. Companies like Tesla, Lyon, AES and South Australian-based RedFlow are already looking to my home state to build exciting battery storage solutions.

“The investment in storage technologies here in South Australia must be supported by a national plan.”

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