Doubling of renewables could drive 66% storage cost reduction by 2030

Doubling of renewables could drive 66% storage cost reduction by 2030

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Storage capacity could triple by 2030 if current renewable energy capacity doubles, with battery prices potentially driven down by 66% from current levels.

Tesla lithium-ion batteries deployed in Southern California. Image: Macquarie.
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PV Mag

Tesla lithium-ion batteries deployed in Southern California. Image: Macquarie.
Tesla lithium-ion batteries deployed in Southern California.
Image: Macquarie.

Battery storage technology used in stationary applications could be as much as 66% cheaper by 2030 provided the current capacity of renewable energy installed globally doubles, finds a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The IRENA report, titled Electricity Storage and Renewables: Costs and Markets to 2030, also found that the installed base of global storage capacity could triple by 2030 if renewable growth trajectory was maintained, while battery-specific storage could enjoy a 17-fold increase.

Launched at Tokyo’s Innovation for Cool Earth Forum, IRENA’s report forecasts a growing role in the stationary storage space for lithium-ion and flow batteries. Currently, stationary electricity storage is 96% pumped hydro worldwide, but as the growth of solar and wind continues, so too will adoption of battery-based storage models.

Aiding the cost reduction of lithium-ion technologies in particular is the electric vehicle (EV) market, which engineered a 73% reduction in lithium-ion battery costs in the sector between 2010 and 2016.

In the stationary sector, small-scale lithium-ion batteries are now 40% cheaper than they were in the fourth quarter of 2014, finds IRENA, as solar+storage applications in advanced PV markets such as Germany facilitate this cost reduction.

“Storage technology will deliver service flexibility to the grid and electricity storage to small-scale rooftop solar applications in markets where commercial and residential electricity rates are high, and grid feed-in remuneration is declining,” said IRENA director of innovation and technology Dolf Gielen.

By 2030, the IRENA report suggests that vast improvements in battery storage chemistry could mean that a typical lithium-ion battery has a 50% longer calendar life and a 90% increase in full cycle capacity. Sodium sulphur batteries – capable of withstanding high temperatures – could enjoy a cost reduction in excess of 60% by 2030, with flow batteries on course for a cost reduction of around two-thirds current prices.

These price declines will increase storage uptake, with batteries used in stationary storage applications on course for a 17-fold increase on current capacity, the IRENA report concluded.

 Source: PV Mag. Reproduced with permission.
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  1. GlennM 3 years ago

    I really do not understand this article. I can see that a doubling of storage can reduce price bu a significant amount. But saying that it will take until 2030 is ridiculous. Perhaps a doubling by 2022. Any prediction longer than 5 years in RE is pure fantasy…

    • Mike Dill 3 years ago

      As the warranted life doubles, the effective cost per watt stored drops by about half. Right now the best battery warranties are about 5000 cycles and ten years, but if those numbers doubled the effective cost per watt drops.

      If that chemistry problems can be fixed, as you note, it will be a great thing. Unfortunately many people will not believe the warranty until one battery actually lasts that long, which would be 2037 if it happened today. So the volume of production will continue to be limited by the faith that people have in the product.
      We know better, but most folks don’t.

    • Ant.. 3 years ago

      From the commercial perspective Snowy Mountains II could take I believe up to 10 years before it comes on line. Tasmania is currently working on issues in relation to potential pumped hydro reservoirs. So I guess from a pumped Hydro perspective they are not actually right now solutions which leaves the other technologies like Batteries [various types] Heat Batteries, Compressed Air, Centrifuge and others. Perhaps the problem is with Government Policy and Certainty making return on investment decisions difficult. The most expensive energy is dispatchable power and the best generators for delivering dispatchable power are batteries, pumped hydro and gas. Storage is not generator specific so as an example if the average production of a coal fired power station can be increased from say 40% to 60% where the excess over and above demand can be stored and made available when required introduces quite a different pricing scenario. In Australia the average spot price per megawatt is about $109 where as dispatchable power delivered during time of peak demand and limited availability can cost as much as $5,000 per megawatt. Coal fired power stations do not produce cost effective dispatch able power without Storage. Our energy issues require policy that occurs on both sides of the commercial and domestic meter.

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