From The Australian’s “environmental editor” today:
South Australia’s emergency power plan proves that battery storage is a fringe response rather than a durable solution to the state’s electricity woes.
…To the dismay of armchair electrical engineers, Premier Jay Weatherill yesterday confirmed the solution to South Australia’s blackout problems would overwhelmingly be gas.
…With the heavy emphasis on peaking power, it still begs the question of what will happen when doldrum conditions again strand wind turbines for long periods over summer?
Batteries may have their place, but this is not it.
So, what is the place of batteries then? In your remote control, torch or vibrator?
Grid stabilisation is precisely where the future of utility scale batteries is, in arbitraging high and low prices. Moreover, the “killer app” of renewable generation combined with batteries is only just around the corner in terms of price parity with fossil fuels:
- wind plus batteries is 18 cents kWh;
- solar plus batteries is about 20 cents kWh;
- combined cycle gas at $12Gj is 10 cents kWh;
- coal is 10 cents kWh;
- add carbon capture and storage and it is 22 cents kWh.
The cost on the first two are falling 20% per annum while gas is rising thanks to the cartel.
In short, we are roughly five years from price parity and the death of fossil fuel electricity generation.
Unless you’re a politically charged idiot.
P.S. The prices are drawn from an MB special report coming out tomorrow on energy investment opportunities.