Small scale battery storage costs tipped to fall quickly

Overcoming the challenge posed by the intermittent nature of renewable energy continues to be a major roadblock to high levels of renewable penetration and a stick with which doubters of clean energy can attempt to hit the sector. Battery and storage technologies are an obvious solution to this, but high prices have seen uptake and projects remain limited.

An increasing number of researchers and analysts, however, are making bullish predictions for cost reductions for storage solutions and in particular battery technologies that – like solar PV – can be implemented on a distributed basis and can mobilise the equity of homeowners.

With 3 GW of solar PV and 2 million small scale renewable energy systems, according to the latest figures from the Clean Energy Regulator, it is clear that Australian households and businesses are adopting clean technology in a big way. With these economies of scale, system price reductions have also been a major consequence, with PV panel and system prices reductions having a transformative effect on the economics of solar power.

Some are now predicting that a similar dynamic will emerge with small scale battery storage systems. “We will have a significant cost decrease,” predicts Dirk Uwe Sauer, from Aachen University’s Electrochemical Energy Storage Systems group. Sauer says that economies of scale for both lithium ion and lead acid batteries will cut battery costs by one-half to two-thirds.

“Four years ago it was predicted that the prices for battery cells, if you buy large quantities as car manufacturers do, would go below €200/kWh for cells by 2020,” said Sauer. “What you see today is that prices are well below this. Tesla is probably buying battery cells from Japanese manufacturers for US$150/kWh.”

via Small scale battery storage costs tipped to fall quickly : Renew Economy.

Categories: Energy