A new report released by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) has found that Australia could be one of the world’s leading developers of large and home-scale energy storage systems despite public uncertainty towards the technology.

Entitled ‘The role of energy storage in Australia’s future energy mix’, the report states that the Australian public’s perceived safety concerns are prohibiting them from installing battery solutions at their homes.

In addition, the report suggests that while the Australian public are aware of some energy storage solutions such as batteries and pumped hydro, they are unaware of other emerging technologies including renewable hydrogen.

A total of 1.8 million homes with rooftop solarpower systems have been identified to have the potential to use battery packs for energy storage. However, the report has cautioned that lack of proper planning and investment in energy storage will further increase the cost of electricity and make power supply less reliable in the country.

“A total of 1.8 million homes with rooftop solarpower systems have been identified to have the potential to use battery packs for energy storage.”

Co-funded by ACOLA and Australia’s Office of the Chief Scientist, the report has further found that recycling of lithium ion batteries could help Australia improve the country’s energy storage system scenario.

ACOLA expert working group chair Dr Bruce Godfrey said: “This report clearly shows the two sides of the coin that energy storage is an enormous opportunity for Australia but there is work to be done to build consumer confidence.

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“The best way to change attitudes is to increase understanding about energy storage.”

ACOLA carried out detailed modelling and a national survey covering more than 1,000 energy consumers. The study includes ten key findings and represents the first in a series.