Advancing state and territory renewables

Congratulations to ActewAGL Retail, Evergen, Solahart and Solarhub which have been successful in receiving grants to support the roll-out of solar battery storage in up to 5,000 Canberra homes and businesses under Round 4 of the forward-thinking Next Generation Energy Storage program.

The $25 million Energy Storage program that was launched in the ACT in early 2016 is supporting the roll out of up to 36 MW of smart battery storage, and advances the territory’s transition towards 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2045.

Storage is described as the “missing link” in the transition to a 100 per cent renewable National Electricity Market, and the ACT program which positions the territory for the future is hailed a trailblazer.

The program is believed to be one of the largest rollouts of household batteries in the world and set to ride the wave of the global battery storage market that is predicted to be worth $400 billion by 2030.

How does the Energy Storage program work?

Homes and businesses that install a battery under the program connected to a new or existing solar system receive support of up to $825 for each kilowatt of sustained peak output, or around $4000 off an average household system.

Email [email protected] for more information.

Victoria has also stepped up its transition to renewable energy by introducing a Bill to increase Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030 and “creating thousands of jobs, putting more energy into the grid and driving down energy prices”.

The move builds on the Government’s VRET legislation for 25 per cent of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025.

Ironically the lift to 50 per cent was promised at last year’s election, as were solar panels for 700,000 homes over the next 10 years through the Solar Homes program that despite its noble intent has led to significant job losses and unprecedented business closures (see earlier story).

The government forecasts the increased VRET will create around 24,000 jobs by 2030 and provide certainty and investor confidence for the renewable energy industry, driving an additional $5.8 billion in economic activity in Victoria.

The increased target will also help drive down emissions – achieving a VRET of 50 per cent by 2030 is the equivalent of taking 655,000 cars off the road for a year.

Victoria and NSW – whose annual output from grid-scale wind and solar generators doubled over the past fourteen months – are now vying for top spot in state total wind and solar generation.

South Australia is set to be knocked off its perch as the largest generator of renewable energy, however the development of pumped hydro energy storage may help tip the balance back toward South Australia. (See previous feature.)