Study finds that storage prices are falling faster than PV and wind technologies – pv magazine International

Long-term R&D spending played a critical role in achieving cost reductions.

Energy storage projects may bring the cost per kWh of a lithium-ion battery down from $10,000/kWh in the early 1990’s to $100/kWh in 2019, according to a new study written by a research team from University of California and TU Munich in Germany, and published in Nature Energy.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s Big and Long-Lived, and It Won’t Catch Fire: The Vanadium Redox-⁠Flow Battery

    It has been called a gigafactory, and it does indeed produce vast quantities of advanced batteries. But this gigafactory is in China, not Nevada. It doesn’t make batteries for cars, and it’s not part of the Elon Musk empire.

    Opened in early 2017, in the northern Chinese port city of Dalian, this plant is owned by Rongke Power and is turning out battery systems for some of the world’s largest energy storage installations. It’s on target to produce 300 megawatts’ worth of batteries by the end of this year, eventually ramping up to 3 gigawatts per year.

    The VRFB was invented decades ago but has emerged only recently as one of the leading contenders for large-scale energy storage.

    How large? VRFBs are being touted for grid-scale uses in which they would store up to hundreds of megawatt-hours of energy.

    Lithium-ion batteries, too, have been proposed for grid-scale uses. But here they are no match for VRFBs, which have longer lifetimes, can be scaled up more easily, and can operate day in, day out, with no significant performance loss for 20 years or more.

    Soon this technology will be the cornerstone of the largest battery installation in the world: a ­200-MW, 800-megawatt-hour storage station being built in Dalian. The first 100 MW will be installed by the end of this year, with the remainder coming on line in 2018.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    We May Not Have Enough Minerals To Even Meet Electric Car Demand

    Citing two reports from Reuters and Bloomberg, Jalopnik reports on the scarcity of metals necessary for electric cars. From the report:
    [W]hile demand for nickel keeps increasing, half the world’s nickel supply is too low in quality to use for car batteries. All of which is going to have seismic effect on the world’s suppliers. In short: There will be winners and losers, and the winners will be the ones with the highest-grade stuff — not unlike, I suppose, the illicit drugs market. “Some of the biggest producers of the higher-grade ores, including BHP Norilsk Nickel, Vale and Sumitomo Corp, are moving quickly to take advantage and seal long-term supply deals with battery producers,”

    We May Not Have Enough Minerals To Even Meet Electric Car Demand

    Global demand for cobalt and nickel, two of the essential elements in electric car batteries, has never been higher. But where do all those metals come from? And do we even have enough for our electrified future? The answers to those questions are getting increasingly complex.

    Reuters and Bloomberg both have stories out today on the metals and, as Reuters reports, while demand for nickel keeps increasing, half the world’s nickel supply is too low in quality to use for car batteries.

    All of which is going to have seismic effect on the world’s suppliers.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Electrochemical Technology Dominates in Energy Storage Systems

    Electrochemistry is front and center when it comes to providing energy storage for utility power. Commercial versions are available now, with ongoing research aimed at developing improved systems.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Advances Made in the Quest for Effective Energy-Storage Systems

    On two different fronts, university researchers in the U.S. and Scotland employed electrochemical and materials science to develop energy-storage systems.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Prices of #lithium-ion batteries fell by 30x from 1991 to 2018. A new study of multiple battery price studies finds consistent predictions: Prices should within 5 years dip below $100/kWH, the threshold below which EVs outcompete petroleum.

    Chart: Behind the Three-Decade Collapse of Lithium-Ion Battery Costs

    Behind clean energy today is a sharp, continuing drop in photo­voltaic solar-cell prices. And behind the scenes, the prices of lithium-ion batteries are plummeting just as quickly. Between 1991 and 2018, the average price of the batteries that power mobile phones, fuel electric cars, and underpin green energy storage fell more than thirtyfold, according to work by Micah Ziegler Jessika Trancik and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Engineers and energy-policy planners benefit from knowing future battery prices, but unlike solar prices, they aren’t always readily available. Lithium-ion batteries tend to be manufactured or bought in bulk by large companies. “Those contracts aren’t necessarily public documents,”

    The overall price decline of lithium-ion batteries—scaled by energy capacity, since their 1991 commercial introduction—is a staggering 97%.
    Of course, as battery production increases, so does the pressure to drive down prices. Battery recycling has also reduced the need to mine for new materials, according to Annick Anctil, a sustainability researcher at Michigan State University. And lithium-ion batteries and solar cells often coexist: “As we’re installing a lot more solar,” Anctil says, “we’re also more interested in putting [in] more storage for it.”


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