Underground hydrogen storage seems to be coming up a lot lately, and with the burgeoning hydrogen industry needing somewhere to store itself, it’s not hard to understand why. One of the countries with the best credentials for the future hydrogen economy is Australia. A newly published report has quantified the country’s “massive opportunity” for underground hydrogen storage.
South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution has launched a new inverter in the Australian market, adding a 5 kW hybrid inverter to its Residential Energy Storage Unit (RESU) Home battery energy storage range.
Construction has begun on a manufacturing pilot project to see battery-grade nickel, cobalt and manganese for precursor battery cathode materials (PCAM) in Perth. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2022 and is one of a number of developments that will look to establish Western Australia (WA) as a materials supplier to the growing battery manufacturing industry.
Sydney-based Providence Asset Group will use hydrogen-lithium battery technology at its solar farms, as it has partnered with Commonwealth Bank to fund a portfolio of 10 community-based PV plants as part of its broader ambitions to develop multiple 5 MW solar farms across eastern Australia.
Mining giant Rio Tinto has been on the back-foot since its destruction of 46,000-year-old sacred indigenous sites last year, costing one chief executive his job and one country a timeless piece of its cultural heritage. Along with the impacts of Covid-19 and stock price decline, the company is seeking to rebuild its brand with improved emissions reduction targets, which will see multi-gigawatt solar and wind installations.
A report from Australia’s Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre which analysed the development of battery hubs in the U.S., Germany and Japan, has found that co-location and cooperation between industry and government were key to their success. For Australia to play the same game, it will have to leverage its wealth of resources, and clean up its act along the way.
It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing, says Mark Byrne of Australia’s Total Environment Centre. Or rather, it’s possible that there is too much rooftop PV at some times in some places. As a result, a range of critical reforms – including the introduction of export tariffs to pay for upgrades of the electricity distribution network – are necessary to allow for the uninhibited growth of solar in the future, he argues.
Australian oil and gas giant Woodside is partnering with U.S.-based concentrated solar specialist Heliogen to build a 5 MW solar thermal demonstration plant in California. The project will deliver clean energy with nearly 24/7 availability.
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ (FRV) Australian platform includes 637 MW (DC) in projects already operational or under construction, and a pipeline comprising 7 GW of solar projects and 1.3 GWh of battery storage.
The modular solar marketplace is growing, especially in Australia where remote mining and agricultural sites appreciate the benefits of compact, movable solar. One new entrant is Western Australia’s CDI Energy with its “Rapid Solar Module”, which CDI founder and CEO Darryl Bower told pv magazine is up to 30% cheaper than fixed axis alternatives.