Energy ministers agree to renewable energy storage scheme

Energy storage concept image (AEMO Services)
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Federal and state energy ministers have agreed to deliver a Capacity Investment Scheme that will incentivise more clean renewable energy and storage into the electricity market, where and when it is needed.

This will ensure that electricity is more reliable and power bills are more affordable for Australians as we transition to a grid powered by clean wind and solar.

Related article: Climate leaders lobby for Renewable Energy Storage Target

The Capacity Investment Scheme will:

  • Make energy prices lower and more stable for homes and businesses
  • Attract even more new investment in renewable electricity backed by batteries, pumped hydro and other long duration storage technologies 
  • Provide a kick start for domestic battery manufacturing in Australia 
  • Drive a huge reduction in Australia’s largest source of emissions.

Climate Council head of advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner said, “Energy ministers from across the political spectrum have agreed to turbo charge renewables. A huge win for all Australians as it will open up clean, cheap and secure power for our future.” 

“Moving to cheap, clean renewable energy will free Australians from the huge energy bill shocks they’ve been facing. It also puts us on track to make deep cuts in emissions needed this decade to avoid more harmful climate change.

“Wind and solar power backed by batteries and pumped hydro is the recipe for cheap, clean and reliable energy. This decision is the strongest signal yet that Australia’s energy future is renewable, with all governments now working to deliver this.”

The decision was also welcomed by the Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton.

“The Clean Energy Council has long advocated for sensible policy measures like this that accelerate Australia’s shift to renewable energy and energy storage,” Thornton said.

“This decision will help unlock the next wave of renewable energy projects. Energy storage will play a crucial role in supporting the massive amounts of new wind and solar needed for the future. While measures to accelerate storage rollout are important, we also need to develop the markets and technical frameworks that will enable stable, long-term investment in storage. 

“Significantly, the decision to fund Australia’s renewable energy storage build-out via the Commonwealth will drive down consumer costs while not adding to already stretched household budgets.

“Renewable energy is the only answer to keep energy affordable in the long term.”

Related article: New data shows surge in large-scale storage investment

What is the Capacity Investment Scheme?

Just like a dam can store water, renewable energy storage like big batteries and pumped hydro can collect excess electricity when wind and solar are plentiful and store it for later use. 

The Capacity Investment Scheme will incentivise more investment in this kind of clean dispatchable energy supply, ensuring reliable and affordable power for Australian homes and businesses year round—even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. 

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