Australia’s untapped pumped hydro energy storage could play a greater role in grid stability

A team of Australian National University researchers led by Professor Andrew Blakers, well-known key solar PV innovator (lead inventor of PERC silicon solar cell technology and co-invetor of Silver solar cell technology), has discovered that Australia’s natural pumped hydro energy storage potential is more than sufficient to support a 100 % clean energy grid.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has financed the study in which the ANU team has identified about 5,000 locations (vmesto sites) around the country, with “energy storage potential ranging from 0.9GWh to more than 100GWh, greatly exceeding the 0.13GWh capacity of Tesla’s lithium-ion “Big Battery” to be installed in South Australia” according to Professor Blaker. Moreover, unlike batteries’ lifetime of 8 to 15 years, pumped hydro has a lifetime of 50 years.

Just one example within the report is Queensland with more than 2000 potential sites identified, with a combined energy storage capacity far exceeding what is needed to support a 100 % renewable electricity system in the state.

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Image credit: RenewEconomy Australia

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