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Victoria sets Energy Storage targets of 2.6 Gigawatts by 2030 and 6.3 GW by 2035 capacity, coal may end in early 2030s

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio announced new energy storage targets alongside a $157 million package supporting renewable energy generation and storage projects across the state.

Victoria has set a 2.6 gigawatts (GW) target of renewable energy storage capacity by 2030, with an increased target of 6.3 GW of storage by 2035. This energy storage is essential to firm the growth in renewables generation from solar and wind farms.

The new storage targets include both short and long-duration energy storage systems – which can hold more than eight hours of energy to cover peak demand periods. 

The new energy storage targets, along with advancing renewables may spell the closure of Victoria’s brown coal in the early 2030s. It also adds momentum to Victoria’s achievements in emissions reduction in future climate targets.

The targets are expected to secure 12,700 jobs and $1.7 billion in investment from 2023 to 2035.

The Labor Government is doing an initial investment of $119 million from the $540 million Renewable Energy Zone Fund in a 125MW big battery and grid forming inverter in the Murray Renewable Energy Zone, between Bendigo and Red Cliffs. 

Further projects announced for funding include:

  • $38.2 million from the Energy Innovation Fund (EIF) to four projects using new technology to generate and store clean energy.
  • $7 million from the Energy Innovation Fund for a 100MW battery and inverter in Terang, 
  • $19.3 million for two bioenergy projects at farms in Gippsland and Barwon. 
  • $11.9 million to Yarra Valley Water to install an electrolyser to make renewable hydrogen using recycled water in Wollert.

There is also $11 million for rollout of Community batteries under a Labor Federal Government funded program, in the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, 

The Government’s $1.3 billion Solar Homes program has already helped almost 10,000 Victorian households install a battery.

“Today’s announcement will be a boon for energy consumers and clean energy investors as Victoria’s renewable energy future takes shape,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

This announcement builds on the recent release og Victoria’s emissions report showing achieving a 29.8 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020, over achieving this target by almost 10 per cent. It will make overachieving the 2025 and 2030 targets also possible.

Energy storage increase may spell end of Victorian coal by 2030

“The Australian Energy Market Operator has made it clear that significant amounts of new energy storage capacity is needed. By committing to delivering on big targets for energy storage, the Victorian Government is sending a critical signal that will help bring much-needed investment to the state,” said Thornton.

“The significant jump in storage planned between 2030 and 2035 is the latest recognition that Victoria’s remaining coal generators are unlikely to last much beyond 2030. Ensuring adequate energy storage is in place ahead of those retirements is sensible planning by the Victorian Government.” said Thornton.

‘This energy storage target will help future-proof Victoria’s energy supply, accelerate our emissions reduction efforts, and create a pipeline of local manufacturing jobs,’ said Friends of the Earth renewables spokesperson Pat Simons.

‘The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO’s) Integrated System Plan Step Change scenario forecasts coal fired power stations to be retired two to three times faster than currently scheduled,’ said Simons.

‘This Energy Storage Target is a smart way for the Victorian government to get on the front foot and not leave the fate of the energy system to the whims of fossil fuel generators,’ said Mr Simons. ‘Building storage is sensible policy which we hope the Victorian Coalition will also support’.

Setting the scene for ambitious 2035 Victorian emissions reduction target

Friends of the Earth also highlighted that the target builds momentum for the Victorian government to accelerate the state’s pace of emissions reduction before 2035.

‘One of the first tasks of the next-elected Victorian government will be to set Victoria’s 2035 Emissions Reduction Target. Victoria will be the first jurisdiction in Australia and one of the first in the world to set a 2035 target,’ said Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson Anna Langford.

‘This Renewable Energy Storage Target sets Victoria up to commit to a bold and ambitious 2035 Emissions Reduction Target that aligns with climate science,’ said Ms Langford.

The Premier Dan Andrews announces the energy storage package with Jackson Taylor MP:

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