Australia’s remarkable energy transition is marching on. Figures estimate that this year, Australia will deploy renewables at a rate almost five times faster than the USA, four times faster than China and well over twice the rate of the UK.
Against a background of persistent opposition to coal plant closures and sporadic anti-renewables lobbying in the run-up to the last election, Australia is nevertheless fast becoming a renewable energy powerhouse.
However, it’s not unqualified successes across the board. Australia may be one of the leading major economies in terms of renewable deployments, but it’s woefully underprepared at a network level to actually make the transition, being ranked 28th out of the list of 32 advanced economies on the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Energy Transition Index.
As a result of it sheer size, Australia is unique in its need for a such a vast distributed network, and needs to implement systemic changes to their existing electricity grid in the form of energy storage infrastructure to manage their transition to low carbon. Importantly, storage must be deployed not only at network level (where we’ve seen initial progress in the form of projects such as the 129MWh lithium-ion Hornsdale battery project and Snowy Hydro facility) but also on a decentralised basis to manage local demand for commercial and industrial energy users.
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