Electricity storage will play a crucial role in enabling the next phase of the energy transition. Along with boosting solar and wind power generation, it will allow sharp decarbonization in key segments of the energy market. (IRENA 2017)
The challenge for governments has shifted, from discussing what might be achieved to determining how to meet collective goals for a sustainable energy system. (IRENA 2017)
Given the sharp, and often rapid, decline in the cost of renewable power generation technologies in recent years, the electricity sector has made concrete progress on decarbonization. Renewable power deployment, however, needs to accelerate. Storage based on rapidly improving batteries and other technologies will permit greater system flexibility – a key asset as the share of variable renewable electricity (VRE) increases. (IRENA 2017)
In terms of the services battery electricity storage systems could provide, the economics of behind-the-meter storage opportunities — notably when paired with new PV installations — could make this application the largest driver of battery storage growth. Behind-the-meter storage could become the primary-use case for 60-64% of total BES energy capacity in stationary applications in 2030. (IRENA 2017)
The main-use case for battery storage to 2030 is likely to be influenced by the economic opportunities to provide electricity time-shift services to increase self-consumption or avoid peak demand charges in the residential and commercial sectors. Moreover, providing renewable capacity firming at the utility scale will effectively contribute to between 11% and 14% of total battery electricity storage capacity in 2030, depending on the case. (IRENA 2017)
• Grid services:
With decreasing amounts of fossil-fueled power plants operating in power grids, system services (e.g. frequency control) need to be provided by new suppliers. Electricity storage systems offer outstanding properties to provide system services such as frequency control, especially battery storage systems that have an extremely fast response, quick deployment time and unmatched scalability, presenting themselves as promising assets for grid services. (IRENA 2017)
• Behind-the-meter applications:
Battery storage systems are used to increase the local self-consumption of decentralized generation. As such, the amount of power obtained from the grid can be lowered, resulting in a decrease of the electricity bill. Although currently not economically profitable for most private users, a general interest in new technologies and the increasing demand for local green electricity supply is driving many people to invest in small storage systems. (IRENA 2017)
• Off-grid applications:
To date, approximately 1.06 billion people, especially in rural areas, have no access to electricity grids (IEA and World Bank, 2017).
In the last decade, more and more remote enterprises have begun to integrate renewable energy technologies, especially PV, into their generation mix to save fuel and optimize production costs. Adding electricity storage systems can increase the implementable amount of renewable energy in off-grid systems up to 100%, allowing an entirely clean and local energy supply for remote locations. (IRENA 2017)