The government is considering changing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) legislated rules to allow it to fund less intermittent sources of energy due to ongoing concerns with the ability of the national energy grid to handle intermittent sources of energy.
According to the Australian, Australia’s energy minister Josh Frydenberg has said that storage is key problem with increasing rates of renewable energy generation, the minister said that increasing rates of generation are destabilising the energy grid.
“The system can’t cope, right now, with the technology that is available to integrate a high uptake of intermittent sources of power when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, into a stable electricity system.”
“We don’t have the storage technology today to ensure that intermittent wind and solar can be up to 50 per cent of the market,” Frydenberg said.
Some concern about energy storage may be abated with new storage technology coming through. An Adelaide manufacturer, 1414 Degrees, has developed a silicon battery it claims costs a tenth as much as a lithium ion battery to store the same energy.
The company says its battery prototype can store 500 kilowatt hours of energy in a 70-centimetre cube of molten silicon. This storage is 36 times the capacity of the Tesla’s 14KWh Powerwall 2 lithium ion home storage battery in about the same storage space.