ARENA backs Monash grid storage market study with $495,000 investment

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has allocated $495,000 to support a desktop study to be conducted by the Monash Energy Institute’s Grid Innovation Hub. 

The $1.18 million research initiative will look into alternative market frameworks designed specifically to support energy storage technologies. Monash researchers will seek to create efficient incentives for storage operators in order to create clearer investment signals for storage. 

The study will also assess how day-ahead markets combined with balancing markets could be more suitable for a market transitioning towards more bulk storage. 

In a media release, ARENA said energy storage technologies play a critical role in supporting the deployment of variable renewable energy, as Australia continues its transition to renewable resources. 

Built on recommendations from the Energy Security Board’s Post-2025 Electricity Market Design, the Monash research initiative will investigate market structures for new system services, such as inertia, and study risks of market manipulation by storage asset owners. 

The grid storage market study intends to equip policymakers and market participants with information to enhance decision-making, rather than formulate prescriptive policy recommendations. 

“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,” said Professor Tony Marxsen OAM, chairman of the Monash Grid Innovative Hub. 

Darren Miller, chief executive of ARENA, said efficient market designs for storage could lead to significant policy changes required to achieve an efficient transformation of Australia’s electricity system towards its net zero goals. 

“The team at Monash University Energy Institute’s Grid Innovation Hub has already achieved important insights 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,” Miller said.