Battery storage deserves more credit: Simon Corbell

Minister Simon Corbell with ActewAGL general manager retail Ayesha Razzaq
Minister Simon Corbell with ActewAGL general manager retail Ayesha Razzaq

ACT Climate Change and Energy Minister Simon Corbell said he’s disappointed about the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO’s) “pessimistic view” on battery storage.

The AEMO told the recent COAG Energy Ministers meeting it may be 10-20 years until battery storage would be able to exert an influence on grid stability and support.

However, Mr Corbell said the outlook was surprising, and highlights the institutional barriers faced by Australia as it transitions to a new energy landscape.

“It was a remarkably conservative and pessimistic view of a technology that is showing a trend of rapid cost falls… and it highlights some of the challenges we face in the design of our energy markets when that sort of presentation is being made to decision makers at COAG level,” Mr Corbell said at today’s Energy Disruption conference.

Nonetheless, Mr Corbell said he was confident change was on the horizon – despite what he saw as resistance from AEMO and the Australian Energy Markets Commission.

“The recent meeting of COAG energy ministers was widely reported as emphasising the importance of gas distribution and competition in gas markets, to manage intermittency,” he told RenewEconomy.

Mr Corbell said the fact every state and territory agreed the National Electricity Market (NEM) must be affordable, reliable and sustainable was a highlight of the COAG Energy Council – and would have been unheard of 18 months ago.

“That was a step change in terms of the culture and environment of the COAG meeting. Whether that will be realised in terms of policy making remains to be seen, but it is clear that transition is under way,” he said.