Batteries Battery Storage Tech Getting Cheaper

Published on January 27th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen

1

Cheaper Energy Storage Systems = More Renewable Energy

January 27th, 2012 by  

Stuffed into the envelope with the electricity bill is sometimes a little pamphlet telling you where that energy comes from. Sometimes, it’s pretty detailed; other times, not so much. But the percentage of energy coming from renewable sources often isn’t that high, and part of the reason for that is that renewable energy is generated in bursts and is then hard to store.

Energy storage on a large scale would help even out the intermittent nature of renewable energy; in fact, techniques such as batteries and fuel cells are used on smaller scales right now to manage grids with high percentages of renewable sources. The problem with wide-scale use is that energy storage systems are not cheap.

The Falling Cost of Technology

While energy storage tech is expensive now, any consumer will note that the price of technology (whether that’s computers, smartphones, or whatever) starts out high and then drops over time. The analyst firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts the same thing will happen with energy storage tech. In fact, BNEF predicts that grid-scale lithium-ion battery prices will fall from today’s $1,000/kWh to $600/kWh by 2015.

According to the report, the lower prices of energy storage systems mean that it would be economically feasible to harvest energy when production is high and use it when demand is high. Hydro and flywheel energy storage systems are also supposed to get cheaper, the report says, becoming viable for widespread use by 2020.

But Here Comes the Red Tape

As with any new type of system, the appropriate rules have to be put into place to govern fair use. Government policy will need to be changed to allow storage and sale of the stored electricity, according to BNEF. The report goes on to say that such changes will be necessary to help consumers avoid buying power when it’s most expensive (although I don’t foresee this one actually happening, not while there’s more money to be made).

Shu Sun, energy storage analyst at BNEF, spoke briefly about hopes and expectations for a new grid system, as reported by Business Green:

“The prize may be within sight, but there are obstacles that need to be cleared… For widespread adoption of storage… appropriate mechanisms need to be built into RIIO (revenue equals incentives plus innovation and outputs), the new regulatory model that aims to promote innovation and the use of new technologies within the … power networks.”

Questions? Comments? Let us know below.

Source: Business Green | Image: Wikimedia Commons 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,


About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.



  • Anonymous

    “Government policy will need to be changed to allow storage and sale of the stored electricity”…

    “…although I don’t foresee this one actually happening, not while there’s more money to be made”

    While arguably accurate observations, these statements points out the artificiality and favored son approach of electricity markets today, as it stands, we get 100% of our electricity extracted from long duration forms of storage.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares