A report giving the cost-effectiveness of different technologies used in energy storage systems on an “apples to apples” basis has been published.
Financial advisory firm Lazard has unveiled its first ‘Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis 1.0’— an in-depth study comparing the costs of energy storage technologies within applications.
The report covers eight storage technologies: lead-acid, lithium-ion, pumped hydro, sodium, zinc, compressed air, flow batteries, and flywheels.
The report states that to lower costs of energy storage systems (ESS) a number of factors, including design improvements and lower material costs, must happen.
The lead-acid industry must reduce the amount of lead used in the battery and improve the battery’s engineering and design to gain more usable energy, the report says. This could lead to a median fall in price ($/kWh) of 24% in the next five years.
For lithium-ion the equivalent price drop in $/kWh could be as great as 47%. This would require increased manufacturing scale (similar to Tesla’s Gigafactory) improvements in design and a fall in material costs, the report states.
The other main contender, for the time being, in the ESS market is flow batteries. This technology could see costs fall as much as 25% in the next five years— again, this is dependent on the same factors as the above chemistries.
The report stated: ‘If industry projections materialise, some energy storage technologies may be positioned to displace a significant portion of future gas-fired generation capacity, in particular as a replacement for peaking gas turbine facilities, enabling further integration of renewable generation’.
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