Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has released its latest forecasts on energy storage, and Australia came near the top of the list, joining nine highly ranked nations.
The demand for battery storage is only set to increase in the next few decades, with 2040 considered the time when it will start being more commonplace than any other option. This leaves Australia in a great position given its natural abundance of space and the clear need for off-grid storage solutions.
At present, there is a sea change taking place as more decision-makers start to look for cleaner energy options that are also efficient. The world is becoming more widely aware of the stark problems that climate change could pose.
One huge plus for battery storage is just how handily its price has been dropping in the last few years, making it a viable solution that is also affordable.
Battery storage is set to see record levels of investment in the next 22 years, totaling $1.66tn. This highlights the huge scale of capital set to pour into the industry and how much confidence in it that people currently have. Battery prices should drop further during that period, reducing by over half over the next decade.
The co-author of the report, BNEF Energy Storage Analyst Yayoi Sekine, said that his company is ‘much more bullish about storage deployments since our last forecast’ and added that this is because of ‘faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs’ as well as more focus on ‘electric vehicle charging and energy access in remote regions.’ These needs have seen greater interest and investment in battery storage potential than anything else, said Sekine.
There are many benefits of this technology, and it can also help save resources overall by alleviating peak power problems and keeping hold of produced energy locally instead of having to send it back and forth. This means that if solar power generates in one place, then it can remain there until it is next needed, avoiding the current situation of it all going into the grid. That process tends to be inefficient.
However, smaller and community-based energy storage is not set to see huge breakthroughs for at least another 15 years, according to the report, and big batteries will be all the rage until then.
BNEF’s Head of Energy Storage, Logan Goldie-Scot, said that battery storage will be ‘equivalent to 7% of the total installed capacity globally in 2040,’ emphasizing just how far it is likely to go by that time. He added: ‘The majority of storage capacity will be utility-scale until the mid-2030s, when behind the meter applications overtake.’
The report said that just nine countries will end up accounting for up to two-thirds of the total battery storage capacity by the time 2040 comes around. In addition to Australia, these are China, the UK, the US, India, Japan, South Korea, Germany and France. The continental split of these countries indicates how far this technology is spreading, and it is showing no signs that it is going to dip anytime soon.