Falling Storage Costs Could Roil U.S. Utility Markets
Cost-competitive lithium-ion batteries for grid-scale energy storage could seriously disrupt U.S. utility markets by the end of this decade, according to an analysis released last week by Moody’s Investors Service.
“That’s good news for utility customers and the power grid, but bad news for merchant power generators and utilities,” Greentech Media reports.
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“The reason I decided to write this paper is the likelihood that batteries may also go the way of solar panels, in terms of dramatic price reductions,” said lead author Swami Venkataraman. Those reductions could make batteries cost-competitive for a wider range of uses, St. John writes.
“But cost savings and revenue opportunities for battery owners and operators will come at the expense of power companies like Calpine, NRG Energy, and Dynegy, which could see erosion in capacity costs and reduced opportunity to make money on the margins of energy market volatility.”
Moreover, “regulated utilities like Consolidated Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Hawaiian Electric could lose the money they’re collecting on commercial and industrial customer demand charges, lowering revenues and increasing pressure to shift costs to other customers—or reform their tariff structures to take storage into account.”