According to a recently released study by Deutsche Bank titled “Crossing the Chasm”, published on 2 March 2015, large-scale energy storage will become available within the next 5 years, as it becomes cheap enough and technologically ready for mass adoption.
Already, battery (mostly lithium-ion) is enjoying a healthy 20-30% cost reduction yearly to reach grid scale parity soon. The model generated by the report also calculated that the incremental cost of storage will decrease from the current 14c/kWh to 2c/kWh.
Commercial markets (from businesses and utilities) will lead the mass adoption for battery deployment, following clear economic sense with falling prices. On the other hand, households are unlikely to jump on the energy storage bandwagon in the short term, as impediments like unattractive pricing mechanisms and access to solar-cum-storage energy packages remain elusive.
Nonetheless, this represents a significant opportunity for utilities to tap on smart grids through the aggregation of neighbourhoods of solar + battery as a single source of load reduction. Deustche Bank predicts two scenarios that will turn this into a reality: Third party leasing companies and residents working together with utilities, or changes to current regulations that enable utilities to include residential solar in their rate base.
Although costs for most of the available battery technologies remain economically prohibitive, a wide range of emerging technologies such as flow batteries would fill this gap, making widespread energy storage possible soon.
If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.