Grid-scale energy storage gaining exponentially over coming years

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North America, western Europe and Asia Pacific are expected to account for nearly 90 percent of the new long-duration energy storage capacity installed globally over the next eight years.

A new report from Navigant Research found that most new projects being installed fall into the four-hour to eight-hour duration categories, with most of those served by lithium-ion batteries.  Some reports forecast that large-scale energy storage costs will drop more than 50 per cent to $160 per kWh or lower by the middle point of the 2020s.

“This type of storage provides the necessary flexibility to manage dynamic resources effectively,” says Alex Eller, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Demand for long duration storage will continue to increase around the world as prices continue to decline and more ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reduction are implemented.”

Earlier this month, AES Corp. and Hawaiian utility Kaua’I Island Utility Cooperative completed their joint solar and storage project at Lāwa’I, calling it a record-breaking effort for photovoltaic peaker capacity. The Lāwa’I Solar and Energy Storage Project combines a 28-MW solar PV and 100-MWh five-hour duration energy storage system. The system can deliver approximately 11 percent of the Kaua’i island’s power needs.

This would make Kaua’i more than 50 percent powered by renewables, according to AES. Hawaii has a mandated goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

Another recent report by Global Market Insights forecast that China’s energy storage investment could grow some $700 million to more than $6 billion by 2024.