IRENA foresees greater elec. storage use by 2030
- The 1,000 GW of storage capacity by 2030 is expected to come largely from electric vehicles contributing about 600 GW

The greater usage of cheaper and more technologically evolved electricity storage will play an increasing role in the transition towards sustainable energy by 2030, according to a senior analyst at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

IRENA through its Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future (REmap) foresees a total electricity storage capacity of more than 1,000 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 when the total installed solar and wind capacity is expected to be around 5,000 GW, Michael Taylor, a senior analyst at the IRENA'S Renewable Energy Cost Status and Outlook Innovation and Technology Center told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

Taylor said that the increased interest in energy storage technologies is because of their ability to provide flexibility in electricity systems, and allow for fluctuations in demand and supply to be adapted sufficiently and rapidly.

"Energy storage technologies in general, and electricity storage technologies specifically, can also help reduce system costs through the ability of disconnecting electricity production from immediate consumption," he explained.

To date, the bulk of the stationary energy storage capacity, about 96 percent, has been provided by pumped hydro storage technology, with more than 170 GW of cumulative operational capacity by the end of 2016, according to Taylor.

"However, that is changing rapidly as battery electricity storage systems costs decline and the technology matures," he asserted.

He stressed that electricity storage systems are expected to play an increasing role in the transition towards a sustainable energy future.

Taylor highlighted the "exciting opportunities" for battery storage technologies to significantly increase the contribution of electric vehicles in transport. He also cited that battery storage can help households increase the amount of self-consumption of their solar PV systems and for islands and other isolated grids reliant on diesel to increase the share of solar PV in their systems. A reduction in fuel costs to defer transmission and distribution investments in grids, while providing ancillary grid services such as frequency response, reserve capacity, as well as facilitate very high shares of variable renewables in the future will emerge.

"This 1,000 GW of storage capacity by 2030 is expected to come largely from electric vehicles - about 600 GW, while total pumped hydropower storage would increase to about 325 GW by then. About 125 GW of stationary battery storage and about 50 GW from second-hand batteries would make up for the rest. The contribution of electro mobility to the total storage capacity is expected to increase. By 2050 the REmap analysis foresees that electric vehicles in operation would account for most of the total 3,000 GW of electricity storage capacity," Taylor added.

- "Effective policies that will allow energy players to plan are key"

Regulatory changes that more explicitly value the services to the electricity system, the growth in solar and wind deployment, the potential of electric vehicles to reduce local air pollution and use of renewable electricity support battery storage technologies.

However, as costs fall with deployment, this is also opening up new economic uses for batteries, Taylor said, adding that, "The key is therefore for policies to provide stable long-term signals to consumers, investors and industry so they can plan in accordance. This requires a holistic policy approach to the energy transition, factoring in technologies that can provide multiple services sometimes in different sectors."

"For instance, with electric vehicles, the challenge is not just to accelerate deployment and scale to drive down the costs of these vehicles, but to also ensure that the storage capacity available in these new vehicles can also be used to help provide electricity grid services, such as frequency control, reserve capacity and for time-shifting of variable renewable generation," he explained.

Taylor argued that these policy issues may span multiple ministries and would require careful co-ordination. Such policies would also need to anticipate innovative business models that reward electric vehicle owners in a way that encourages their participation.

"Policymakers therefore need to carefully consider the synergies of batteries in different market segments, as well as different energy sectors and actors," he warned.

On the issue of cost-competitiveness of these technologies when compared to non-storage technologies, Taylor admitted that battery storage technologies are in their infancy as compared to pumped hydro storage, so their costs are still relatively high.

"Costs of battery storage technologies are falling rapidly, and as deployment grows, technologies improve and performance increases the cost of services from batteries for transport and stationary applications will continue to fall," he asserted.

Taylor underlined the governments' role in supporting fundamental research and development efforts that support the development of commercial battery technologies to unlock performance improvements and cost reductions.

"By setting stable long-term policies that support the deployment of batteries in transport or stationary applications, governments can also support the increasing scale of production that underpins the industrial-scale production capacities that help industry achieve economies of scale and drive down costs," he concluded.

By Ebru Sengul

Anadolu Agency



10 Aug,2017