Australia is divided into two camps, a political party that wants coal-fired power stations while the other wants battery storage and renewable energy as pillars of the Australian energy system. While crucial planning continues, there is a clear path to reducing emissions, delivering reliable energy while addressing rising electricity costs.
Large-scale battery storage
With the increasing availability of renewable generation, battery and energy storage becoming available, it is clear that Australia does not need another coal power plant. Coal is not fit for purpose when you consider it is neither the most flexible, cleanest, nor the cheapest.
With no need to build new coal power stations, it will fade out over the next two decades, at most. Wind and solar power will be the sole sources of energy power. Alongside these will come battery storage, which will be an essential component in becoming a sustainable green country.
Energy operators including large-scale solar and wind farms cannot remain at the mercy of the sun and wind. Intermittent power requires the support that only storage can provide.
South Australia has no coal-fired power plants and is one of the first regions in Australia that is highly dependant on continued energy supply. Southern Australia uses wind generators who joined with AGL for times when they cannot fulfil their contractual obligations and missing energy supply.
The way to go would be storage hydro to store energy during high generation periods for later use. It could operate with pumped storage hydro, compressed air or electrochemical batteries. South Australia already has a Snowy 2.0 energy storage project using hydro storage. AGL is currently developing a hydro facility in the Adelaide Hills. The 250MW facility is a large-scale national battery storage which will be fully operational by 2024.
Other projects that are operating already is the “big battery” power source from Hornsdale Power Centre who in conjunction with AGL, are leaders in renewable energy storage.