Melbourne — Battery makers worldwide are watching to see whether Australia’s most wind power-dependent state can keep the lights on by installing grid-scale batteries by December that could help drive the growth of renewable energy across Australia and Asia. A decade-long political stalemate in Australia over energy and climate policy has led to power and gas shortages and soaring energy prices threatening industry and households. If batteries help solve Australia’s problems by storing surplus electricity generated by wind and solar power, countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Chile could follow suit. "I call South Australia the ‘perfect storm’ opportunity for energy storage," said Ismario Gonzalez, global sales director for AES Energy Storage, an arm of US firm AES, which has installed or is working on battery projects in seven countries, including Australia. The more dependent the grid is on intermittent sources such as wind and solar, the more flexible the back-up sour...

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