The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has recently written a report that the belief that a combination of battery storage and solar systems will gain control over our electric power system will not materialize.
Nonetheless, it realizes a string of limitations in the scope of the study which could underrate uptake in Australia, which includes – the fact that it has only been affiliated to households/residential sector and only considered how attractive the systems are using the recent set of electricity tariffs.
The AEM only envisages 7,982 MWh of battery storage installed within the residential sector of the east-coast National Electricity Market. This could constitute less than 3.2% of the total electric power usage (with integrated solar PV generation), even though it will represent a significantly 30% of the overall forecast solar PV generation.
Despite the limited operational data, the AEMO sees battery storage to be more marketable in New South Wales and Victoria than the other states due to their flexible tariffs, which gives incentives to apply the new technology.
“Victoria currently has a time-of-use tariff structure that incentivises the uptake of battery storage, as households are able to use electricity from the battery during peak times. As such, Victoria has the highest installed battery capacity by the end of the forecast period,” AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Matt Zema stated.
The reportanticipates 2,774 MWh of battery storage in Victoria by 2035.
“In New South Wales, the combination of the tariff structure and average household daily demand profile provides an economic incentive for consumers to install rooftop PV and battery storage. By the end of the outlook period, New South Wales is forecast to have the largest percentage of installed rooftop PV (72%) that is integrated with battery storage,” said Matt Zema.
Also the report indicates that New South Wales is predicted to have 2,482 MWh of battery storage by 2035. The other states in the National Electricity Market (NEM) were predicted as follows: Queensland – 2,046 MWh; South Australia – 484 MWh; and Tasmania – 196 MWh by 2035.
Just recently Bloomberg New energy estimated that 33GW of battery storage will be installed across Australia by 2040. Yet, the AEMO proceedings indicate that the survey did not include the economics of retrofitting residential battery energy storage. The survey also did not include the potential for commercial scale energy storage.
The Australian Energy Market does not envisage much interest in plug-in electric vehicles, which could constitute only 5% of the vehicle market by between 2034- 2035. It does not also see several residences dumping gas on behalf of electric appliances such as reverse-cycle air-conditioner-heaters.
“In the absence of policy incentives, we expect the uptake of electric vehicles to remain low, with 524,775 electric vehicles forecast to be in the NEM by 2034–35, representing a 0.54% increase on residential and commercial consumption forecasts for the same year.”
AMEO, June 2015. The AEMO’s Emerging Technologies Information Paper: National Electricity Forecasting Report: Accessed 30 June 2015.
AUTHOR: DOUGLAS YEBOAH