New Energy Storage and Transmissions Needed for the Rapidly Growing Renewables

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has predicted that the Australian Energy Market will need an increased storage capacity. It will also need to push for advancement in energy transference as the number of renewable energy projects presently underway, will pump in copious amounts of energy in the next 20 years. This will also a structural redesigning of systems so as to provide affordable electricity, and a dependable and resilient power supply infrastructure. The estimated scale for storage is touted to be 15 GW by 2040.

The renewables supply of an energy mix, rooftop solar, initiatives like demand supply and electric vehicles will contribute close to 60% within 20 years. All this cohesive energy data and more was revealed in the insights paper by the AEMO. This was the first publication of the insights paper series, the second will be Integrated System Plan (ISP) to be expected mid-2020. The paper highlights the importance of energy storage in the country’s future renewables grid. Australia is one of the largest producers of renewables today, with a well spread, state-wise plan for renewable extraction. The country’s National Energy Market will require six and 12-hour storage facilities to allow extensive, utility scale solutions such as 2 GW pumped hydro Snowy 2.0 project and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation.

AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman said, “The NEM [national electricity market] has to manage the increasing variability of both supply and demand from changing weather patterns, consumer behaviors, growing variable renewable generation and declining reliability of existing generators”. The Energy Security Board and AEMO will work together to realize what the IPS outlines into a workable strategic plan. “A key objective is to enable projects identified in the ISP to undergo a streamlined RIT-T and regulatory approval process, that builds on the detailed cost-benefit analysis undertaken as part of the ISP,” added Zibelman.