Renewable Energy Lab Predicts Decline in Cost of Battery Storage Systems

The NREL recently released a report that examines both the performance and cost of different transport and electricity technologies. The lab included various energy storage technologies in its forecast, in addition to residential and commercial solar PV, utility, offshore and onshore wind as well as other technologies.

The report predicts substantial decreases in the cost for battery energy storage in the period between now and 2030, noting that the declines in cost will continue to 2050. With regard to energy storage, the annual technology baseline report includes pumped storage hydropower, residential and commercial battery storage analysis as well as utility-scale battery storage.

Lab experts modelled a trio of scenarios — advanced, moderate and conservative — for the data sets they produced for transport and electricity technologies. The models are derived from various sources synthesized by experts from the lab, which include analysis and data by BloombergNEF.

The experts included financial scenarios that considered policy dynamics and possible market trends and also looked at the research and development-based cost scenarios for various technologies with regard to fixed charge rate, capacity factor, operations and maintenance, cost of energy and capital expenditure.

The report uses a DC-coupled system and pairs a four-hour duration Li-ion battery energy storage with a single-axis, utility-scale solar PV, which share one bidirectional inverter as the technology for working out solar plus storage costs. In addition to this, the report includes the values for 10 classes of technology, with the least cost-effective being Class 10 and the most cost-effective one being Class 1.

For example, in an advanced scenario that accounts for policy dynamics and markets in 2020, the report finds that a $46/MWh levelized cost of energy for a Class five PV-plus-battery system technology would have decreased to $32/MWh by 2025 and $20/MWh by the year 2030, before dropping to $14/MWh by the year 2050.

While the decrease in levelized cost of energy in a conservative scenario is more steady, it still increases as we approach the middle of the century before falling sharply in 2050. In the report, the lab also forecasts the costs of two-, six-, eight- and ten-hour duration utility-scale battery storage systems.

Last week, the Energy Storage Association interim CEO Jason Burwen stated that according to the analysis, the cost of ten-hour batteries by 2030 would be similar to that of four-hour batteries in 2021, noting that project sizes and storage duration would increase as the costs decreased. The lab’s report can be viewed and accessed from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory website.

Taking a look at how many innovative companies such as StorEn Technologies Inc. have entered the energy storage niche provides proof that costs are likely to drop steeply as a result of the massive investments being poured into developing more affordable energy storage systems.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StorEn Technologies Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/StorEn

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