Monash University: Monash welcomes ARENA funding

Monash University welcomes the announcement of $495,000 funding from the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to conduct research that explores better integration of electricity storage into energy markets.

Researchers at Monash University Energy Institute’s Grid Innovation Hub will conduct a study to explore alternative market designs that could better enable the uptake of energy storage technologies, a key component to the uptake of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE).

More storage is required to support Australia’s transition to renewables and to achieve Australia’s net zero emissions targets by 2050. This study complements current work by Monash University’s Grid Innovation Hub to further integrate renewable energy into the grid.

In welcoming the funding announcement, Professor Tony Marxsen OAM, Chairman of the Monash Grid Innovation Hub said: “For a successful transition to a low carbon energy future, energy markets must reflect the full value of all the services modern technology offers. Services from battery storage are not valued clearly at present and this exciting research will reveal ways in which markets can better reflect their value to guide investment.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “The team at Monash University’s Grid Innovation Hub have already achieved some amazing results in previous studies and we see the Grid Storage Market study as just as important in highlighting the potential market changes required to incentivise industry to further invest in renewable energy storage.”

Monash University Energy Institute’s Grid Innovation Hub is a collaborative research vehicle bringing together industry, government and our world-leading researchers to create new opportunities for Australia to lead the world in energy.

Professor Ariel Liebman, the director of the Monash Energy Institute at Monash University which sponsors the Monash Grid Innovation Hub has welcomed the announcement;

“We are very grateful to ARENA for supporting this initiative by our talented team of world-class researchers. This is an extremely timely study whose results are urgently

needed to help accelerate the transition of the electricity sector towards 100% renewables to comply with the 1.5 degree climate science based trajectories.”

“Energy storage is a lynchpin of the entire energy transition and will not be able to take up its key role while we are still operating under a market design from the 1990’s where fossil fuel sources dominated. This study will inform the next generation of market designs and I expect it to be highly impactful due to the participation of Monash partners, AEMO, AEMC and PSC.”

Associate Professor of Economics at Monash University, Co-Director of the Grid Innovation Hub, and Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute Guillaume Roger says storage of electricity on a large scale is transformational; “Much less obvious is whether the price arbitrage proposition on which it rests, is strong enough to sustain it. This project will, among others, explore this question and make recommendations to introduce market rules that are conducive to storage investment,” he said.