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Australia - Carbon Trading

Energy storage systems in The US to date, have resulted in higher green house gas(GHG) emissions.The reason is that such economic viable systems store energy at night when power prices are cheap, and then release such during the day; makes financial sense of course and its called arbitrage. The end economic advantage happens during the day, and it’s the cost of course.

The problems involve that such energy saving at night being cheaper, and returned during the day competes with what’s on the market, and that included of course natural gas peaking plants, which emit lower GHGs. “Peakers” can throttle back unlike baseload coal fired plants which are designed to run efficiently at their “sweet spot”, and such do this as energy storage systems flow their electricity into the grid, such electricity was made from coal fired power the night before, and the more GHG friendly natural gas peakers are throttled back. The result is a system increase in GHG emissions.

Secondly, large battery storage outputs only 80% input, so the “top ups” at night as well are from coal fired cheaper power stations.

Australia has over 22,000 potential locations for pumped hydro, where water is raised during cheap electricity rates, to be returned during the day of peak demands, similar to the above.

Large battery in South Australia is similar but, if it can charge up from surplus renewable wind or solar, then when it releases its energy to the grid it may stop peaking plants starting up or delay them; this is very good.

You see if there was a carbon price in a system federally developed with the states and territories, a price could be set and planning would be underway.

Solar PV becoming cheaper than carbon electricity by year 2025, is allowing for cheaper systems now being installed throughout Australia in a massive way, without any major federal policies; the states, territories and the cheapening technologies are doing this anyway. But still the “push” of carbon policies would complement, accelerate and signal the market.


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