The global installation of flow batteries will reach 360MWh by 2020, according to a report by Lux Research.
Falling costs will carve out a market worth $190m. Within the stationary energy storage market, the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) is the most mature technology, and accounts for 75MWh of deployed systems.
VRFBs are the most expensive flow battery chemistry, costing $516/kWh in 2024. Zinc bromine (ZnBr) will be the cheapest flow battery at $391/kWh in the same year, but questions remain surrounding their lifetime and operating costs, says the report.
Lowering vanadium input costs will not be a panacea. VRFB developers are claiming that sourcing vanadium from fly ash will reduce costs from over $500/kWh today to $300/kWh at scale. However, Lux finds that even in the unrealistic scenario of a free vanadium electrolyte, VRFB system costs would still be $324/kWh in 2024.