Falling renewable energy costs driving increasing interest in storage, National Renewable Energy Laboratory says
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently highlighted the increasing interest in energy storage across the United States and the role it may play in the future of the electric grid.
NREL noted that the price of lithium-ion batteries has decreased by approximately 80 percent over the past five years and that the United States saw a 93 percent year-over-year increase in storage deployed in the third quarter of 2019.
According to a forecast by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, annual storage deployments in the United States will reach more than 5.4 gigawatts by 2024. The market value is expected to grow from $720 million today to $5.1 billion in 2024.
The growth of renewables and their declining costs are driving this increase in energy storage, NREL noted. Approximately 18 percent of the electricity generated in the United States is from renewable sources, and that number is expected to continue to increase, NREL said.
According to estimates from NREL’s Renewable Electricity Futures Study, the continental United States would need 120 gigawatts of storage if 80 percent of electricity comes from renewable resources. The United States currently has 22 gigawatts of storage from pumped hydropower and another gigawatt from batteries.
“The declining cost of wind and solar and now batteries makes it conceivable to consider 100% renewables,” Paul Denholm, a principal energy analyst at NREL, said.