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Aerial shot of Great Barrier Reef.

Looking forward to Australia's future in renewable energy.

Whilst fully-commercial hybrid power plants are still a way off, pumped storage, batteries and green hydrogen can all play a part in Australia’s energy transition, say Mark Andrews and Tony Morton from LR in the latest edition of ReCharge.

Australia has been viewed by many as the pioneers of hybrid plants - where wind, solar, or other forms of power generation are combined with storage to 'firm up' variable generation and provide other services such as, arbitrage and fast frequency response.

The well-publicised Hornsdale battery project ('Tesla big battery') and associated politics, has led to the high penetration of renewables in South Australia and a strong narrative about firming renewable power generation, which on the surface drives enthusiasm for hybrid plants.

In practice, however, the economics of such systems are still marginal given the current cost of batteries - so the majority of developments we are seeing today are backed by public-sector support.

In the next 20 years we will see a massive one-off transition from baseload to variable generation as the Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO's) Integrated System Plan, plots a pathway to 100 per cent renewables - and finding ways to firm up renewable generation will be key.

To find out more about Australia's ambitious green hydrogen plans and economics mean that hybrid projects need to stand on their own feet economically before we see them in quantity. Read the article in full.

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