How Low Can Storage’s Price Go?
Getting to 100% renewables requires cheap energy storage. But how cheap? New research gives energy storage a cost target.
David Roberts, August 9, 2019 (VOX)
“…[Some say] renewables can supply 100 percent of US energy, with sufficient help from cheap energy storage and savvy management of demand…[Others say renewables] need assistance from nuclear power and natural gas or biomass with carbon capture and storage…[It is a critical debate] as a whole host of states and cities are passing laws targeting ‘100 percent clean energy.’ Some, like Hawaii, specifically target 100 percent renewables. Some, like Washington state, target 100 percent ‘clean,’ allowing room for non-renewable sources…[Wind and solar are ‘variable’ and not ‘dispatchable’ the grid must adjust] to them…[and] needs lots of flexibility…[The most promising source of flexibility] is energy storage…
With cheap-enough storage, we can add a ton of [renewables] to the grid and absorb just about any fluctuations…[F]or renewables to get to 100 percent, research suggests storage must see] around a 90 percent drop from today’s costs…[to] approximately $30–70/kWh…[That is] not outside the realm of possibility, but well beyond the edge of most mainstream projections…[But energy] storage is developing rapidly and within striking distance of transformative costs…[and] a whole portfolio of storage options is available, with lots more options in development…A US energy grid run entirely on renewable energy (at least 95 percent of the time), leaning primarily on energy storage to provide grid flexibility, may be more realistic, and closer to hand, than conventional wisdom has it.” click here for more