The falling price of lithium-ion packs could help the global need for 150GW of energy storage to be realised by 2030 as utilities, governments and even householders begin to embrace the technology.
A report by market intelligence firm S&P Global states the gradual uptake of energy storage system could be down partly from the continuously declining price of battery storage technology.
This decline has seen the price of lithium-ion technology used in battery packs for electric vehicles fall to $350 per kWh last year from $1,000 per kWh in 2010.
And while companies such as Tesla (Powerwall) and Sonnenbtterie begin production and distribution of their domestic and small-scale commercial products the need for large-scale (MW+) projects will help governments to meet the 150GW target.
However, there is some way to go with one of the largest current systems only weighing in at 40MW, and only 1GW of energy projects being announced worldwide last year.
Projects such as STEAG Energy Services’ 90 MW storage program in Germany and Edison’s 100 MW facility in California are, however, a step in the right direction.
Bringing more large-scale projects on stream will not be a problem as long as utilities adopt energy storage to balance grid fluctuation— whether from domestic systems or renewable energy sources such as solar farms.
Two notable entrants this year were French fossil fuel firm Total S.A. taking over French energy storage system firm Saft Groupe, for €950 million ($1.1 billion) and Engie buying a 80% stake in California-based battery storage firm, Green Charge Networks.
The S&P report stated that the number of utility-scale energy storage projects has increased dramatically worldwide over the past few years, with much of this growth has been in the US, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
It added lithium-ion battery technology accounted for 79% of the energy storage capacity announced in the first three quarters of 2015, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, showing a considerable lead over other technologies.