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Australia to lead storage boom, as home batteries become “ubiquitous”

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Australia has been named as one of eight countries expected to lead a massive boom in energy storage uptake that will see the global market double six times over between 2016 and 2030, to an installed total of 125GW/305 gigawatt-hours in 2030.

In its Energy Storage Forecast, 2017-30, released on Tuesday, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts the global energy storage market will follow a “remarkable” growth trajectory similar to that charted by the solar industry between 2000 to 2015.

The report predicts that the global energy storage market will grow to a cumulative 125GW/305GWh by 2030, attracting $US103 billion in investment over this period, as behind the meter storage becomes “ubiquitous” in countries like Australia, and combines with utility-scale storage to play a crucial role in the transition to renewables.

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And as we have seen with solar, energy storage market momentum will be driven by falling costs – in the case of lithium-ion battery systems, for example, BNEF is forecasting annual cost reductions of around 10 per cent from now to 2020, and 7 per cent a year by 2030. (Although this will mostly be driven by demand from a booming electric vehicle market, the report says.)

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“The industry has just begun,” said BNEF energy storage analyst Yayoi Sekine, lead author of the report, in comments on Tuesday. “With so much investment going into battery technology, falling costs and with significant addition of wind and solar capacity in all markets, energy storage will play a crucial part in the energy transformation.”

Leading the charge on energy storage, says BNEF, will be a group of eight countries – the US, China, Japan, India, Germany, the UK, South Korea and Australia – which will collectively account for 70 per cent of total installed capacity by 2030.

And while utility-scale storage will be a key part of the growth market – both co-located with renewable energy generation facilities and separately in a grid balancing role – it will be the battery storage systems installed by households and businesses that will really star in future power markets.

“By 2030, we expect 69GW/157GWh to be behind-the-meter, making up more than 50 per cent of total capacity,” the report says – and the chart below shows – as this resource is increasingly used to provide system services, such as peaking capacity, on top of customer applications.

This is a pattern we are already seeing emerge in Australia, as major gen-tailers scramble to work with governments and energy management start-ups to harness – and facilitate – the burgeoning battery storage resource that is being installed on their networks.

And well they should, because according to the report – and as the charts below illustrate – storage installed behind the meter by homes and businesses will make up a whopping 90 per cent of the market in Australia by 2030, the highest proportion of any country in the BNEF forecast.

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“We forecast significant growth in behind-the-meter PV and storage uptake as costs continue to slide,” the report says.

“In the long-term, distributed energy will become ubiquitous, and the ongoing uptake is projected to keep grid-supplied electricity demand relatively flat throughout this period.”

This is a major shift from today, the report adds, where BTM is the smaller of the two segments: “This is driven by retail tariff offset economics, demand charges and aggregation opportunities.”

The report also points to the known unknowns of the Australian renewable energy market, and how these could affect the outlook for battery storage – particularly at the utility scale.

For instance, mandating energy storage to be built alongside new renewables capacity – an idea that was broached in the Finkel Review – could undermine the economics of renewables, the report says; “especially if many issues could be resolved by aggregating behind-the-meter capacity instead.”

Likewise, the recent government policy emphasis on “synchronous generation” to meet minimum inertia and system strength requirements” could lead to more renewables curtailment, while also entrenching a role for baseload fossil-fuel generation and adding to development costs of wind and solar, it says.

“More importantly, the emphasis on synchronous power reduces the attractiveness of batteries in comparison to gas generators, pumped hydro and synchronous condensers,” the report says.  

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  • Roger Franklin

    The larger question that has no answer today is, once consumers experience what batteries can do for their their household electricity bill, what will their next step be? In some cases where consumers see only a small gap between their power demands and their ability to generate their own power, will they reduce their energy needs to essentially be a net zero consumer of grid sourced electricity?

    This is the very situation that Energy Australia (and their funding partners), were attempting to introduce standards that would essentially ban behind the meter batteries earlier this year.

    Another thing to consider is that over the next 12 years, electric vehicles will gain the ability to act as “behind the meter” batteries too.

    Interesting times!

  • PacoBella

    The challenge now seems to be how to get this type and quality of information out into the general public. I saw comments about the focus groups that were conducted as part of the latest Finkel-funded study where people were worried about the safety of batteries and recalling the LNP-hyped “pink batts” issues as though they were part of some national disaster. The scare campaigns are so easily foisted onto the Australian public. Perhaps the Solar Industry council needs to fund a professionally-designed Facebook campaign, as that is where the bulk of the “deplorables” seem to get their information from, outside of course from the News Ltd sources that can be relied upon to misrepresent even the best laid out research.

    • If you go into any local supermarket or convenience store in Australia you are likely to see a Murdoch paper with headlines about blackouts from renewables, esp. now in Queensland with the election.

      • Joe

        Best to just blackout Rupe’s newsrags, then we will all be safe again.

    • Tim Forcey

      MY EFFICIENT ELECTRIC HOME. We have > 2,300 members at My Efficient Electric Home on Facebook where we routinely share this sort of thing. New Members welcome. https://www.facebook.com/groups/996387660405677/

  • Robert Westinghouse

    Yes, LNP and Big Power are having in-camera discussions to ban batteries. They reduced the Max PV per phase, they reduced the STC’s…next ban batteries altogether. But Trumbil is OK he has batteries and PV…so the rest of the country can go get …. Before they ban then, rush out and get batteries now!!!

    • bedlambay

      Plus the 30 minute rule and the government umpires with consumers locked out on decent policy.

    • Joe

      I may have my info a little wrong but I heard that SA is proposing a limit on how much rooftop solar can be exported to the grid….I stand corrected if I am wrong. If my info is correct it would be a huge boost for solar households to go and install home batteries. So if I am correct on the SA proposal how long before other states follow suit with solar exporting limits? The battery companies will be rubbing their hands, yes…..until The COALition comes again ( The Bunker !!!!) to stymie home batteries.

      • Robert Westinghouse

        Bloody hell….Big Brother/1984 come in…..viva la batterie!!! Better ask my brother-in-law for more…

      • Brian Tehan

        “heard”? On the grapevine? Source please.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Hope it’s not this kind of boom:

    Wind power backup and storage batteries explode into flames and send a toxic cloud over the city of Brussels | Wind Energy News

    https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2017/11/12/wind-power-backup-and-storage-batteries-explode-into-flames-and-send-a-toxic-cloud-over-the-city-of-brussels/

    • Ren Stimpy

      Keep on with propagating that fake news fuckwit.

    • Brian Tehan

      A crackpot anti wind site.

      • itdoesntaddup

        Are you trying to claim that the event didn’t happen? It’s important to deal with realities. My first suspicion would be that the cooling failed. If batteries are to make successful grid scale operations the systems that surround them must prove reliable as well as the batteries themselves. There’s obviously work to be done.

        As a utility, I would want to know whose batteries failed and exactly why, before I invest. Then I can reduce the chance of something similar recurring.

  • AussieJoe

    It’s all too expensive today. Pay back exceeds product warranty. Looks like a poor investment today.