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The challenge

Making renewable energy more reliable

One of the major challenges of renewable energy is how to provide electricity when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing.

Our response

Advanced storage technologies

At CSIRO, we have been pursuing energy storage, including battery technologies, for more than 20 years. We are conducting significant research to overcome the challenges of intermittency, storage and dispatch of electricity generated from solar and wind energy.

Battery technologies

Our expertise for modelling, synthesis, fabrication and testing of battery technology includes: prototypes, anodes, thin electrolytes, packaging, costing, modular design, knowledge of leading edge battery technology, optimising operating window, energy and power densities.

Underground storage

We are working on efficient and feasible underground storage options for compressed air, and for hydrogen, which could provide excellent stability to the energy network. In the case of hydrogen, underground storage can also ensure we have enough supply for domestic use and export.

Distributed energy

Distributed energy, a major research area, involves the local generation of power, heat and cooling using emerging technologies and integrating with selected renewables and traditional generation. We work in collaboration and showcase various distributed energy technologies at our Energy Centre in Newcastle, NSW.

For example, microturbine gas engines roughly the size of a household refrigerator are being demonstrated at the Energy Centre to examine co-generation.

Our work in energy storage also includes research into high-performance batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells.

Energy storage and battery technologies case study

  • As we adopt hydrogen as an energy carrier in a range of sectors, we need to ensure that we have enough supply when demand goes up (or down) within Australia and for export overseas. We'll need significant amounts of storage and, at this scale, hydrogen is stored most cheaply and safely underground.

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