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Storage Costs Could Fall 66%, Global Capacity Could Triple by 2030

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Global energy storage capacity could triple and storage costs could fall by 66% by 2030, driven by a doubling in renewable energy capacity, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) projected in a report released last week.

The tripling across all forms of storage could include a spectacular, 17-fold jump in battery storage, IRENA concluded.

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“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,” PV Magazine reports, citing an IRENA release at Tokyo’s Innovation for Cool Earth Forum.

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.”

Stationary battery costs have fallen 40% since the last three months of 2014, IRENA noted, and improved lithium-ion chemistries could deliver 50% longer calendar life and a 90% increase in full-cycle capacity by 2030. “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,” PV Magazine notes.

“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 Dolf Gielen, IRENA’s director of innovation and technology.