Grid Storage Batteries Getting Cheaper

Lithium-ion and molten-salt battery costs will approach $500/kWh by 2022, reducing the high capital cost of emerging grid energy storage technologies. However, expectations of half that level will remain unrealistic for at least a decade, according to Lux Research.

Technology developers make bold claims about performance enhancements and economies of scale that will lead to dramatic cost reductions. Lux Research’s baseline scenarios for grid-tied systems indicate that by 2022 Li-ion batteries will reach $506/kWh; sodium nickel chloride, or ZEBRA, batteries will approach $473/kWh; and vanadium redox flow batteries will hit $783/kWh.

To gain an understanding of the key cost components for each technology, Lux Research analysts built production cost models of Li-ion, ZEBRA, and VRFB systems for small- to large-scale grid storage systems, and assessed drivers that will facilitate cost reduction and constraints to innovative material and manufacturing approaches.

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