Renewable energy battery storage - an opportunity for New Zealand power companies to adapt.


There's a reason that we're seeing an increased global uptake of utility-scale battery storage systems - they provide the means to store electricity sustainably and economically, close to where it needs to be used. That's in addition to their ability to smooth out the intermittencies that renewable generation can experience, meaning BES systems are fast becoming the low-carbon, renewable energy choice for many providers, and look set to fundamentally change the way that power systems will operate in the future. 

Here in New Zealand, hydroelectricity has largely been our main source of renewable energy, because the lakes have the capability to store energy on a large scale. However, there's the problem of the 'dry year' - when the lakes don't receive enough rainfall or snow melt - so while they're expected to continue to be an economic, low-carbon electricity source, New Zealand energy providers still need to develop a realistic view of the future. And that means seriously considering grid-scale battery storage alternatives to meet the changing needs of customers and of the economy.

The present New Zealand government has a Net Zero goal of becoming 100% renewable by 2030. The shift to a renewable majority will require Kiwi power companies to innovate. That means harnessing the kind of technology that BES systems provide. 

Our Operations Director Brent Sheridan sees New Zealand as a key market for storage solutions with future generation growth primarily being led by solar and wind technology. 

"Both these forms of generation work perfectly in combination with batteries to provide a continuous and stable energy supply," he says. "We've seen this trend internationally, in particular in the US and Europe, where traditional energy generation from sources such as coal and nuclear are being replaced by vast solar and wind farms."

The Electricity Authority also sees BES as the future of renewable energy in New Zealand, offering customers greater opportunities and choices. "The battery will also have benefits for the consumer by helping to meet peak demand, and will complement New Zealand’s existing storage in hydro lakes as well as enhancing the security of supply to Auckland," says the EA.

BES systems can be swiftly and precisely deployed and will make the overall power grid more efficient and resilient, regardless of the generation sources. But that's just one of the many reasons that BES systems are gaining traction on a global scale. It was with that in mind that we decided to delve deeper into why we're seeing an increasing global uptake in BES systems, and have collated our findings into a new white paper, International BES trends - a guide to how they apply in New Zealand.

We take a closer look at why BES technology is the way forward for a low-carbon economy, why they're so popular in global markets, and what trends we should be taking note of when it comes to renewable energy in NZ. In this guide, we cover:

International trends driving the uptake of renewable energy battery storage
The current trends highlight how the energy landscape is in the transition toward more flexible energy systems, and why developed countries are increasingly looking toward utility-scale battery storage solutions. We outline the global push towards decarbonisation, the declining costs of renewable energy, and the decline of inflexible generation.

Key benefits of renewable energy battery storage that are shaping trends
Kiwi power companies and EDBs can benefit from BES systems in the same way as our global neighbours. We outline some of the key outcomes, including shift demand, reduced costs and increased profit, peak power shaving, and clipping recovery.

Power Electronics’ battery energy storage solutions
A quick overview of our Freemaq range, the most innovative inverters for battery energy storage systems.

BES systems are set to be a key strategy to lead the decarbonisation of New Zealand’s energy sector. It's an area that's showing high levels of innovative growth, so it will continue to evolve, with Kiwi power companies adapting and leveraging this new technology.

Keen to find out more? Get the whole story in our new white paper, A guide to international battery storage trends and how they apply in New Zealand.