Long-duration storage market to hit $223 billion in 20 years, says IDTechEx

Alternatives to lithium-ion batteries are likely to develop in the next years, according to a recent IDTechEx research.
Variable renewable energy (VRE) generation sources such as solar and wind are predicted to become the world’s major source of electricity by midcentury.

Given the variability of the intermittent cycles of electricity generation offered by these sources, energy storage is required to maintain a stable, balanced supply.

Demand response programmes, distributed household batteries, vehicle-to-grid storage, community-level batteries, and a variety of other technologies will help to balance the grid’s reliance on variable renewable energy. Along with these technologies, there is an increase in demand for long-duration energy storage (LDES), which can store and dispatch electricity for six hours or longer.
According to an IDTechEx research, growth may be modelled using LDES, and the worldwide market could reach $223 billion by 2044. According to the analysis, the market would develop at varied rates across regions. For example, if California meets its clean energy targets for 2035, its renewable energy capacity will expand by 280% over the 2023 baseline.

According to the survey, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, India, and Texas are among the other significant nations and US states where VRE deployments are likely to rise rapidly.

“Increased VRE penetration will result in longer periods of time when energy is unavailable from these sources, and thus, LDES technologies will be required to dispatch energy over these longer timeframes,” said the report.

According to IDTechEx, once a country’s or state’s power from VRE sources accounts for approximately 45% of the energy mix, storing for six hours or more becomes the most cost-effective alternative. According to the analysis, the 45% criterion will be exceeded on average globally by the late 2030s, with the previously indicated hot markets reaching the milestone sooner.

Aside from pumped hydrogen, which relies on local running water sources, lithium-ion batteries dominate the global stationary energy storage industry, according to the research. However, IDTechEx notes that lithium-ion batteries are unlikely to have low capital costs suitable for LDES applications.

To reduce cost-per-kilowatt-hour, IDTechEx recommends technologies that enable energy and power decoupling. It stated that this job could be served. It said this role could be served by redox flow batteries (RFB).

“To increase system capacity for RFBs, electrolyte volume and the size of electrolyte storage tanks can be increased, whereas changes to the cell-stack are only needed to increase power output,” said the report.

IDTechEx said liquid-air energy storage (LAES) is another alternative that may come with cost advantages at scale. 

“For LAES, the size of liquid-air storage tanks can be increased, while turbomachinery only needs to be scaled with power output,” said the report. “This results in faster and non-linear decreases in capex (on a $/kWh basis) for many of these LDES technologies as a function of duration of storage.”

Source: IDTechEx

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