Just where is the market? We already have $100/kwhr batteries in lead, molten salt/Zebra, etc, but none are used, why?
Fact is utilities are doing very well without batteries/storage for 120 yrs now and handling variable demand, same effect as variable supply, forever.
And now instead of spinning reserve the new NG generators are eff from 50 to 100% power so can be throttled, relieving the need for storage even more.
The need for storage for RE is another myth as it's not any more a problem as demand is.
In fact in many places A/C is the peak load and PV follows it prefectly. If a cloud comes over the A/C load also reduces. Since peak load following is 3-10x's the price/cost of electricity, then shouldn't PV get the most money?
Facts are only wind is that variable and only in big wind farms that start/stop at once. Far better is home/building size units spread out so their power averages to steady power.
And Solar CSP, biomass, hydro, tidal are steady or on demand and PV follows demand. So where is all this storage needed for RE? Or for the grid?
The best observation I have seen on the subject of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar.
Renewable energy sources should be viewed as "negative loads"..
Not as power sources to replace or expand existing infrastructure. Simply put, they reduce power generation requirements from exiting sources.
This makes handling their capacity more akin to handling load variations (which are not all that predicable)
As renewables become a larger portion of the total, it will require very different methods for keeping the grid stable - from management and engineering. And has profound impact on the interconnections between areas. An area of infrastructure that is often thought of "after the fact".
Best to view storage of energy for the power grid in short term - as phrased earlier, "as shock absorbers".. to handled switching between sources. Not for it's ability to enable renewable sources to become dominate.
Wind has proven to be an expensive mess when applied to a grid. Not good for Base Load or Peaking. You can't schedule the wind you can only guess when it will be available.
Batteries of scale are unrealistic in a multi-gigawatt system. Pumping is viable enviromentally but hard to site. I would suggest that Wind Energy be forced to crack water for it's elemental constituents. The hydrogen could be used to run mega-watt turbines and the other components of the cracking could be sold. This would allow wind to be used in a viable and eviromentally sensetive manner.
The lure of high volumes and possibly less price pressure could cause a focus on badly needed profits by some battery producers. This could cause higher tech cells to take a back seat in the area of manufacturing efficiency improvements and less focus by sales could hurt volumes. Not a big deal as the market sorts itself out - but it could come into play for EV manufacturers if the 'actual cost ramp' is much slower than the 'previously projected [and planned for] cost ramp.
"..A recent study from Lux Research Inc. reinforces that position. "Grid Storage Under the Microscope: Using Local Knowledge to Forecast Global Demand" predicts the market for grid storage of electrical power will soar over the next five years, spiking from $2.8 billion in 2012 to, almost unbelievably, $113.5 billion in 2017..."
Which I'm sure has battery makers salivating. They *only* have a market because government mandates that power distribution companies buy from solar/wind/etc, regardless of cost, screw the economics.
Solar and wind generation is already much more expensive per unit power produced. This will only compound that cost difference. Who will be footing the $113Bn? Rate payers in increased costs, in a time when various technologies are making previously unavailable petroleum reserves feasible to develop, vastly increasing the estimated petroleum reserve in this country alone. Currently there is no oil shortage other than that engineered by regulation and lawsuit.
The only way this works is because governements are forcing electricity providers to buy power from "renewable sources" at rates far above what they pay for conventional sources, transfering those costs to me and non-power generation industry, making their products more expensive. Rent-seeking by an industry that's been struggling to field a feasible system and finally realized that all they really needed was the power of government to force folks to buy their product.
Good article of current state of things. I read between the lines of energy storage conference papers that grid storage is a perferred method, but I do not agree. Micro grid storage is more in line with the decentralization that will have to take place as fossil fuel costs rise. The recurring overhead of a large centralized solution alone would keep the true $/khw elevated. What I see coming sooner is a dense enough energy storage package that replaces the space in the house the hot water heater occupies. First customer would be home builders who are keen to build a sustainable home. IMHO, this is the way to go as it also means the solution would benefit a larger swath of the global population.
Charles, renewal energy sources are common in universe and storage is a major concern, even from cell phones to smart grid technology. Most of the storage mechanisms can hold power for a shorter duration and forced us for a recharge. So there should be some new technologies which can hold more power and can sustain for a longer duration.
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