RISC Principal Development Engineer Joe Collins tells ENP the roll-out of large-scale battery storage is still a few years away from being competitive;

Battery growth imminent

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Anthony Barich


NEW research forecasts capital spend in grid-scale battery storage technologies to reach $US1.107 billion ($A1.46 billion) this year, with rapid growth over the next 10 years, the timeframe that RISC Advisory believes the technology will take to compete with natural gas.

Marketing and research firm ASDReports’ new study included capital expenditure forecasts for lithium-ion, flow, sodium-based, advanced lead acid and other batteries, plus energy storage technologies for optimising off-grid storage of renewable energy sources like wind.

ASD said the grid-scale battery storage market was still “largely an emerging one”, especially when compared with other energy storage systems such as the well-established pumped hydro storage.

However ASD said grid-scale batteries were becoming commercially viable, having been the subject of numerous demonstration projects.

ASD said they possessed numerous advantages over competing technologies, such as the precision and quality of the service they can provide to grid operators and their lack of geographical constraints experienced by technologies such as compressed air energy storage and pumped hydro.

Working in the technology’s favour is the fact that regulatory frameworks and market environments around the world are moving towards the direction of more grid-scale battery storage being deployed to perform ancillary services.

“Pressed by high and rising amounts of renewable energy capacity brought online each year, an increasing number of governments around the world are considering adopting new regulatory requirements favouring the commissioning of grid-scale storage systems, such as capacity payment mechanisms rewarding the best-performing back-up technologies for frequency regulation, or mandatory targets for the installation of new storage capacity,” ASD said.

“In addition to this, production costs are consistently declining due to technological improvements, gained experience and mass production.

“Just as decisively, a larger wealth of performance data is becoming available each year as pilot projects are completed all around the world, providing producers, operators and prospective clients with key information on the reliability and safety of each battery technology once applied outside the laboratory.”

The firm expects the grid-scale battery storage market to grow considerably over the next decade for grid ancillary services, peak electricity demand shaving, energy efficiency and renewable energy integration.

RISC’s principal development engineer Joe Collins told Energy News earlier this month that battery storage was currently possible at both a residential and large scale to help make renewable energy more reliable.

However, he says the cost is still significantly higher than that of having a gas-fired generator as a reserve at the same capacity, ready to inject power when required.

He says companies working on battery storage technology need to get their costs down to under $100/megawatt hour of storage capacity before they can become competitive with the “rolling reserve” scenario with coal or gas, and can replace them.



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