Answer"Batteries will almost certainly have a significant role in the future but today they can only provide back-up for limited periods.

As battery capacity in Australia’s electricity systems is developed, batteries will provide an increasingly important role in backing up renewables to improve reliability. 

Batteries and pumped hydro power allow renewable energy to be stored and then used when conditions are not ideal for sources like wind and solar and demand is high. 

However, currently they have a limited role in Australia and can only store a very small amount of renewable power. 

Furthermore, these technologies can often only store energy for limited amounts of time. So even when there are a lot more batteries there will still need to be a supporting mix of electrical supply such as gas power generation to maintain reliable and affordable power. This is acknowledged by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO): 

“Renewable energy connected by transmission, firmed with storage and backed up by gas is the lowest cost way to supply electricity to homes and businesses through Australia’s energy transition” providing “secure, reliable and affordable power” 1 

A real world example of this is in South Australia where, even with one of the world’s largest battery instalments used to back up wind and solar, electricity generated by Australian natural gas is still an important part of the energy mix.



AEMO, Draft 2024 ISP, 2023