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Low cost, robust energy storage is set to change the energy landscape in Australia for the energy industry and for energy consumers.

Energy Storage Council 
Chief Executive John Grimes.

Energy Storage Council 
Chief Executive John Grimes.

A new representative body – the Australian Energy Storage Council – has been formed, as the energy sector enters a stage of rapid growth.

The Energy Storage Council (ESC) is a national member-based not-for-profit organisation and was established in August 2014 with the key aim to advance the uptake and development of energy storage solutions in Australia.

The founding partner and supporter of the ESC is the Australian Solar Council, bringing over 50 years of knowledge along with a recent history in organising energy storage-focused training courses and activities.

According to Energy Storage Council Chief Executive John Grimes it quickly became clear that energy storage needed its own unique voice. “While solar and other renewables drive the uptake of energy storage, there are wider applications that have nothing to do with renewable energy.

“While in global terms the Australian market is small, we are extremely relevant when it comes to energy storage. Australians pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world. We live on a massive continent with a small dispersed population. We maintain an extensive electricity grid – with lines often running hundreds of kilometres for only minimal people at the end of them.”

The emergence and viability of energy storage technologies will have a profound effect on how we effectively generate, move and use energy into the future.

Energy storage deployed wisely can significantly bring down electricity costs and make the electricity network more robust, flexible and reliable. It is vital that energy utilities engage with the energy storage sector sooner rather than later.

An important and immediate focus for the Energy Storage Council is to open this dialogue with utilities and work on developing standards and protocols for integrating energy storage into the network.

“We want safe, effective energy storage solutions that will serve industry and the public well over the long term,” said Mr Grimes.

Other key objectives of the ESC include influencing government policy and securing government support, promoting technology and applications, linking research and development with industry and investment capital, and building market awareness and confidence in energy storage solutions in Australia.

The ESC is also working to connect local and global industry partners, and has committed to partnerships with key industry organisations in the US, Europe, China and India to work towards global standards for the energy storage industry.

The ESC represents companies including technology manufacturers, equipment providers, project developers, consultants, utilities and other energy industry leaders.

With more than 30 committed members already, the ESC is providing a platform for all members to directly engage with other industry participants.

The council will also provide a variety of services to members that include policy and advocacy activities, latest news updates, case studies, industry events and training opportunities.

Already the ESC has begun planning their inaugural conference, to be held alongside the Solar 2015 Conference & Exhibition on 13-14 May 2015 in Melbourne.

The informative and free to attend two-day program will look at the technology, applications and economics of energy storage.

The program will focus on current market developments and trends, technology integration, policy making and industry case studies.

“The ESC is committed to providing an independent forum for all energy storage professionals to network and share information, which is why we are committed to a free to attend event,” said Mr Grimes.

Because the conference will be co-located with the established and highly successful Solar 2015 event, it is expected that over 4,000 delegates will attend the combined event. It will provide participants from across the energy storage and associated industries with a forum to network and do business all in one convenient location.

Keen to learn more about energy storage opportunities? The May edition of Utility will contain a feature about energy storage and how new technologies will impact utilities.

More information on the Australian Energy Storage Council can be found at www.energystorage.org.au or by contacting Lorrae Ingham at [email protected].    

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