Tesla calls for a 20 gigawatt storage target for Australia

US electric vehicle and battery giant, Tesla, has called on Australia’s federal government to set a 20 gigawatt energy storage target, as a mechanism to ensure the country meets its “dispatchable” power needs in the transition to a grid dominated by renewable energy generation.

In a submission to a federal parliament inquiry into dispatchable energy generation and storage capability in Australia, Tesla said battery storage offered fast, modular and scalable alternatives to new coal and gas peaking plants which Tesla said were “no longer economically rational.”

Further advantages of grid-scale battery storage, the submission argued, were that it could be deployed in any location on the network and, compared to gas or pumped hydro projects, had a minimal land footprint and a reduced carbon footprint.

“As yet there are no overarching plans or direct mechanisms to ensure the scale of storage required is delivered to meet both reliability and system security outcomes in the short term, and drive affordability and efficiency outcomes for consumers over the longer term,” the company wrote.

“Extending the life of ageing assets drives up prices for consumers relative to new assets that bring additional generation capacity and increase competition. Extensions and retrofits distort investment signals and inhibit jobs growth and energy affordability.

“Tesla recommends a clear storage target (e.g. 20GW by 2040) to enable progress tracking and guide reforms to unlock new value streams.”

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Christi Watson