The Australian Energy Market Commission asked the CSIRO to research how different storage technologies may be used at various parts of the electricity supply chain. The report is now available on our website.

The research will aid our understanding of the future regulatory impact of the integration of storage technologies in the National Electricity Market. The project is part of the Commission’s work to understand how technological change may impact the National Electricity Market and the possible regulatory implications of that change to ensure the market is flexible and resilient enough to respond.

Advances in technology and decreasing costs mean storage technologies have the potential to affect every part of the electricity supply chain.

Distributed storage systems may offer significant benefits to consumers with intermittent energy sources, such as the 1.4 million Australian households with rooftop solar PV, by allowing them to better match their generation to their usage needs.

Large-scale storage systems may be used by network businesses to reduce congestion, smooth network peaks, mitigate outages or provide network support in remote areas – all of which potentially reduce the need for spending on network infrastructure, thereby reducing the cost of network services for consumers.

Storage systems connected to power stations could allow generators to better manage variations in wholesale prices between times of high and low demand, or better integrate variable generation resources like large-scale wind.

The AEMC will now identify whether there are barriers and regulatory issues associated with the uptake of energy storage, whether the consumer protection framework is balanced and effective and any resulting implications for those frameworks.