Batteries are here to stay and could grow globally from 7 gigawatts (GW) of batteries being installed in 2018 to 63GW in just five years.

Market research Wood Mackenzie is basing its forecast on 140 per cent year-on-year growth in battery installations around the world in 2018.

They specifically mean electrochemical and electromechanical energy storage, not pumped hydro.

The battery trend is one area Australia hasn’t missed.

In terms of installations, South Australia launched the grid-scale lithium ion battery trend with its 100 megawatt (MW) Tesla battery at the Hornsdale wind farm. Now other states such as NSW and Victoria have either started thinking about it or have installed grid-scale batteries — in Ballarat in Victoria’s case.

On the ASX, the main battery installer action is among companies providing off-grid services, an area that is unharmed by the vagaries of government action, or inaction, on renewable energy and storage.

In 2017, Tag Pacific (ASX:TAG) won a contract to install NSW’s biggest grid connected battery, but they mainly work in the off-grid space.

Redflow (ASX:RFX) and Protean Energy (ASX:POW) are both building vanadium batteries, a system that is more suited to larger scale use than lithium ion batteries, and have started selling or pilot projects.

And of course Labor has a plan to turn Australia into a battery making hub, benefiting dozens of battery metals miners as well as companies like HIPO (ASX:HIP) which believes it can make a battery from scratch.

Wood Mackenzie analyst Rory McCarthy total spending on battery storage to hit $71bn by 2024, with $14bn of that spent in that one year.

“The electrification epoch will unfold more rapidly over the next five years. With it, energy storage will become a necessary technology to enhance system flexibility and enable clean, rapid system balancing, while de-risking ever increasing intermittent assets and portfolios,” he said.

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