Gas as a transition fuel for grids may be around for a lot less time than we thought. We already know that large batteries, if they are cheap enough, can replace gas plants to provide peaking power to grids reliant on intermittent wind and solar. Bruce Robertson at IEEFA says the numbers are showing battery costs declining even more rapidly than wind and solar. Precisely because of that increased competitiveness Australia’s AGL Energy is starting the transition away from gas, explains Robertson. Elsewhere in Australia, France’s Neoen is planning a $2.1bn gigawatt scale solar, wind and battery plant. Meanwhile in the U.S., Vistra and investor Capital Dynamics are each planning gigawatt scale batteries, at least 10 times the size of today’s biggest battery plant. Gas prices are very low at present. If and when they start to rise, the case for grid batteries will only get stronger. Batteries are usurping the role of gas in the power system. Grid scale battery usage is increasing rapidly, and battery cost deflation is faster than wind or solar. Gas companies are finally starting to see this transition, and to act.
Energy Post 16th Sept 2020 read more »