Electrical energy storage (apart from pumped storage hydropower) is still a peripheral part of the power generation infrastructure. However, the advancing use of renewable energy, particularly wind power, will change the perception of storage and lead to significant increase of its use. At the same time, developments over the last ten to twenty years have brought a range of new storage technologies to the brink of commercialization. However, commercial projects are in short supply.
The Future of Electrical Energy Storage is a management report that analyses the future of electrical energy storage and how the advancing use of renewable energy, particularly wind power, will change the perception of storage and lead to significant increase it its use.
Some key findings from this report:
• There is just 90GW of electricity storage capacity in operation – around 3% of global capacity, which is much lower than in other energy industries.
• As an emerging group of technologies, estimates on the cost of electrical energy storage vary widely, on average by more than 100% and typically much higher in battery technologies.
• Capacitors are the most efficient of the existing electrical energy storage technologies with a round trip efficiency of >95%, while hydrogen storage is, by a large margin, the least efficient technology.
• The US and Japan are the global leaders in large scale pumped storage hydropower plants with 9 and 12 plants respectively, compared to just 1 each in the UK, France and Australia.
• Based on an analysis of fixed and variable costs, batteries are currently the most expensive technologies – a key limiting factor compared to more mature alternatives such as pumped storage hydropower.
Publication Date: Feb 2009