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July 18, 2017

Energy storage prices forecast to tumble

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Chemistry World – Energy storage is needed to avoid wasting excess electricity from solar and wind – and a new analysis finds many options are surprisingly affordable. Oliver Schmidt and colleagues at Imperial College London see technology costs falling similarly rapidly as deployment expands. ‘There is no fundamental advantage of a certain technology in terms of capital costs,’ Schmidt tells Chemistry World.

While cost projections exist for individual technologies, the Imperial team noted that there was no evidence-based comparison between them. The researchers therefore applied an ‘experience rate’ approach to eleven vehicle, electricity grid and home energy storage technologies. The method looks at how costs have fallen as manufacturers have deployed systems and learned how to make them more cheaply. Projecting that these trends will continue can then be used as an indicator of future costs.

Schmidt’s team found capital costs of home and grid-scale systems generally heading towards $340/kWh (£263/kWh) once 1TWh of capacity is installed for each technology. For comparison, the UK consumed 337.6TWh of electricity in 2016. This was true for hydrogen fuel cells and lead acid batteries for homes, lithium-ion batteries on home and grid-scale and grid-scale vanadium redox flow batteries.

Read more at Chemistry World.

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