Victoria, Australia, will target the deployment of 6,3 GW of renewable energy storage by 2035, one of the most ambitious policy goals set by a state or national government anywhere in the world. State Premier Daniel Andrews and energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced the target yesterday, describing it as a measure that will lower power prices, create employment and enable increased uptake of renewable energy in their state.
Energy economics expert Dr Bruce Mountain of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre (VEPC) thinktank called it “an excellent and significant step in the right direction”.
“Though the details of delivery have not yet been worked out, it establishes a solid foundation. It signifies the Government’s recognition of the importance of storage to the energy transition and will surely boost investor and consumer confidence,” Mountain said.
It comes off the back of the Climate Change strategy, introduced by the Labour Party, which targets 50% of Victoria’s electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030, in a state that currently relies on coal for about 60% of its power.
The energy sector made up about 70% of Victoria’s emissions in 2019, with transport accounting for about a quarter. Labour has set a policy target for net zero emissions from the state by 2050 and is working towards that goal in four-year blocks. In 2020, it exceeded its target to reduce emissions 15% – 20% from 2005 levels, getting closer to 30%.
The government sees energy storage as critical to enabling energy security and economic goals, including large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) projects and distributed battery storage with rooftop solar PV at peoples’ homes and businesses.
The Andrews government has also set an interim target of 2,6 GW by 2030. The target includes eight hour-plus long-duration energy storage (LDES) as well as shorter duration.
“Victoria is already the renewable energy capital of Australia, and now, we’ll have the biggest energy storage targets in the country too,” Andrews said yesterday.
“We’ve cut emissions by more than any other state, tripled the amount of renewable energy and created thousands of jobs. We’re not just talking about climate action – we’re getting on with it.”
Energy minister D’Ambrosio meanwhile noted that the targets will create “up to 12 700 jobs” in the state and will save families money on their energy bills and “slash our state’s emissions for generations to come”.
The target was announced alongside an AU$157-million (US$101,77 million) support package for renewables and storage projects in the state. That included AU$119-million for a 125 MW battery storage and advanced inverter project in one of Victoria’s planned Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) and AU$7-million funding for another 100 MW battery storage and advanced inverter project at an earlier stage of development.
Victoria is already home to Australia’s largest BESS to date, the 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery, which went into action at the beginning of this year.
This article was first published by Energy Storage News