wind turbines in australia Earlier this year, a report from the Australian Clean Energy Council said renewables will be responsible for 32.5% of the country’s electricity generation in 2021.
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A fund under the management of BlackRock Real Assets is set to acquire Akaysha Energy, an Australian company that develops battery storage and renewable energy projects.
In an announcement on Tuesday, BlackRock said it plans to allocate over A$1 billion (about $700 million) of capital to “support the construction” of more than 1 gigawatt of battery storage assets.
Looking ahead, BlackRock said Akaysha has plans to develop energy storage projects in a range of Asia-Pacific markets, including Japan and Taiwan in the near term.
Efficient and large-scale storage systems are set to become increasingly important as renewable energy capacity expands. This is because while energy sources like the sun and wind are renewable, they are not static.
“The rapid expansion of energy storage is critical to meeting the resilience needs of the decarbonized electricity system,” the IEA said. According to the International Energy Agency, investment in battery storage grew nearly 40% in 2020, to $5.5 billion.
Figures from the Australian government show that fossil fuels made up 76% of total electricity generation in 2020, with coal accounting for 54%, gas 20% and oil 2%. The share of renewables came in at 24%.
In April, the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources said that renewables were responsible for an estimated 77,716 GWh of electricity generation in the calendar year 2021. This represents 29% of total electricity generation.
In a speech last month, the country’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said that “the challenge of climate change is also an opportunity moving forward that we must seize to become, in fact, a superpower in the field of renewable energy.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Charlie Reed, co-head of Climate Infrastructure Asia Pacific at BlackRock, said that as Australia’s renewable energy infrastructure continues to “mature”, investment in battery storage assets will be needed.
This was required, he said, to “ensure the resiliency and reliability of the grid, particularly with the continued earlier-than-expected retirement of coal-fired power plants.”
“For our customers, we see huge long-term growth potential in the development of advanced battery storage assets across Australia and in other Asia Pacific markets, and we look forward to working with Akaysha to ensure an orderly transition to a cleaner and safer energy future,” added Reed.
With major economies around the world making plans to increase their capacity for renewable energy, interest in battery storage appears to be growing.
In July, Norway’s Equinor said it would acquire US-based storage battery developer East Point Energy after signing an agreement to acquire a 100% stake in the company.
Equinor, a major oil and gas producer, said Charlottesville-based East Point Energy has a pipeline of 4.1 gigawatts of “early to mid-stage battery storage projects focused on the east coast of the United States.”
The company said battery storage “will play an important role in the energy transition as the world increases its share of intermittent renewable energy.”
“Battery storage is key to enabling increased penetration of renewable energy sources, and can contribute to stabilizing energy markets and improving security of supply,” she added.