More evidence grid-scale batteries will soon be cost-effective

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Quick Take:  Battery costs have been declining gradually for years. Now there is growing evidence that we may soon see a steeper drop. One reason -- increased competition, not just between companies, but between battery chemistries as well, as reported in Windpower Engineering & Development.  â€“ Jesse Berst

 

The variability of renewable energy makes it hard to keep the grid stable. We could solve that if we had large batteries. However, grid-scale energy storage rarely pencils out – it is too expensive for all but the most high-value applications.

 

That may be changing soon. One new battery company, EOS, claims it will soon sell batteries for $200-$250 per kilowatt hour. EOS says that figure may soon drop to $160 per kWh.

 

A slew of storage companies are pursuing the opportunity, increasing competition and exploring a variety of new approaches. The full article examines three of them:

·         Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI)

·         Modular flow

·         Liquid metal

 

In addition, government agencies are encouraging the market with rules and incentives. For instance, FERC order 784 may be beneficial to energy storage since it permits enterprises other than large utilities to sell ancillary services – services that could be provided by large batteries. In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission recently established an energy storage procurement target for California’s investor-owned utilities.

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