The real obstacle to integrating storage into the grid
When it comes to integrating new energy storage technologies with the grid, what’s standing in the way?
Robert Morgan, CEO of Energy Storage at GE Renewable Energy, will be the keynote presenter at the 2019 Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition.
Under the theme ‘Energy Storage, The Great Enabler’ this year’s Conference will run from 13 – 14 June at the International Convention Centre in Sydney.
Coming together will be some of the world’s best speakers who, across the two-day program, will explore the technology and projects that are revolutionising the energy sector, plus address the industry’s most pressing and challenging hurdles.
And when it comes to integrating storage technologies into the grid, Morgan believes the main hurdle has more to do with people than hardware.
“The grid is ready to accommodate energy storage technologies today,” Mr Morgan said.
“What is really needed is system operators and interconnection rules to recognise that energy storage both generates electricity and demands electricity — it flows both ways.”
In other words, the base infrastructure already exists; what’s needed most is a change in attitude.
“Control systems and grid software need to be updated but the wires can fundamentally handle energy storage,” Mr Morgan said.
Over his 30-plus year career in global energy markets, Mr Morgan has watched the industry adapt to intensifying climate and regulatory pressures in a slow march towards the future.
Morgan is confident that energy storage is an integral part of the sector’s next big step — if only industry and regulatory forces can align to spur the transition.
In addition to rallying behind these critical system reforms, Mr Morgan emphasised the importance for storage companies to keep abreast of industry trends, which can aid decision-making and make it easier to spot market opportunities.
“Right now, the trends in energy storage are twofold. First, electric vehicles are advancing to a scale that makes lithium ion batteries the cheapest and most effective of the proven storage technologies at modest durations — less than six hours,” Mr Morgan said.
“Second, customer demand for shaped energy supply products means that we can offer wind, solar, and gas technologies in combination with energy storage to create a hybrid renewable solution that meets customer needs.”