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BNEF ups forecast for global investment in stationary energy storage, sees majority of capacity likely to be grid-scale

Energy storage installations around the world will multiply exponentially, from a modest 9GW/17GWh deployed as of 2018 to 1,095GW/2,850GWh by 2040, according to the latest forecast from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF).

The total demand for batteries from the stationary storage and electric transport sectors is forecast to be 4,584GWh combined by 2040, providing a major opportunity for battery makers and miners of component metals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.


Global cumulative energy storage installations. Source: BloombergNEF

This 122-fold boom of stationary energy storage over the next two decades will require $662 billion of investment, according to BNEF estimates. BNEF projects that it will be made possible by further sharp declines in the cost of lithium-ion batteries, on top of an 85% reduction in the 2010-18 period.

BNEF’s Energy Storage Outlook 2019 predicts a further halving of lithium-ion battery costs per kilowatt-hour by 2030, as demand takes off in two different markets: stationary storage and electric vehicles. The report goes on to model the impact of this on a global electricity system increasingly penetrated by low-cost wind and solar.

Two big changes this year are that we have raised our estimate of the investment that will go into energy storage by 2040 by more than $40 billion, and that we now think the majority of new capacity will be utility-scale, rather than behind-the-meter at homes and businesses.

—Yayoi Sekine, energy storage analyst for BNEF and co-author of the report

BNEF’s analysis suggests that cheaper batteries can be used in more and more applications. These include energy shifting (moving in time the dispatch of electricity to the grid, often from times of excess solar and wind generation), peaking in the bulk power system (to deal with demand spikes), as well as for customers looking to save on their energy bills by buying electricity at cheap hours and using it later.

In the near term, renewables-plus-storage, especially solar-plus-storage, has become a major driver for battery build. This is a new era of dispatchable renewables, based on new contract structures between developer and grid.

—Logan Goldie-Scot, head of energy storage at BNEF

Just 10 countries are on course to represent almost three quarters of the global market in gigawatt terms, according to BNEF’s forecast. South Korea is the lead market in 2019, but will soon cede that position, with China and the US far in front by 2040. The remaining significant markets include India, Germany, Latin America, Southeast Asia, France, Australia and the UK.

There is a fundamental transition developing in the power system and transportation sector. Falling wind, solar and battery costs mean wind and solar are set to make up almost 40% of world electricity in 2040, up from 7% today, according to BNEF. Meanwhile passenger electric vehicles could become a third of the global passenger vehicle fleet by 2040 according to BNEF, up from less than half a percent today, adding huge scale to the battery manufacturing sector.

Demand for storage will increase to balance the higher proportion of variable, renewable generation in the electricity system. Batteries will increasingly be chosen to manage this dynamic supply and demand mix.



In general, I agree with BNEF that fixed stationary e-energy storage capacity will increase exponentially by 2040 and thereafter.

However, that exponential increase may not happen as shown or predicted. Asia, mainly China, will be way ahead (at least 2X) of USA, unless major attitude changes happen.


Here's a question:
Are we (as a society) better off using batteries in stationary storage or vehicles ?
And if in vehicles, are they better off in pure EVs or PHEVs ?


“Are we (as a society) better off using batteries in stationary storage or vehicles ?”

We will be better off putting batteries in vehicles, adding intelligence to the grid, and incenting a fraction of that capacity to be available for grid storage. This would enable cheap intermittent power sources to dominate the grid.


We are way late in producing batteries that can be used to replace fossil fuels in cars and the power sector. Developing and manufacturing batteries should be a high priority...with enough supply on hand, we wouldn't need to choose . It's sad how poorly our elected politicians are handling this problem; when they should be all in and assisting in the solution, instead they continue to slow down the progress.

Kevin Brown

“Are we (as a society) better off using batteries in stationary storage or vehicles ?”

We would be far better off to prioritize battery production capacity to grid storage and integrate as much renewable energy as possible which would provide greater CO2 reductions from all in-use plug-in electric vehicles. Should there be battery capacity production shortages then better to offset using hybrid electric vehicles (HEV's) which provide half the CO2 reduction of BEV's but less than 1/30th of the battery capacity.
Think of it this way, if you only have 50 kWhr of battery available are you better to use it in one 50 kWhr BEV or 50 HEV's with 1 kWhr batteries. If all the vehicles do the same annual mileage, the 50 HEV's will yield at least 25 times as much CO2 reduction as the single BEV.


I'm smelling another petroleum-company shill.

We would be far better off to prioritize battery production capacity to grid storage and integrate as much renewable energy as possible which would provide greater CO2 reductions from all in-use plug-in electric vehicles.
This just happens to aim for the minimum reduction in petroleum use while also locking in massive amounts of natural gas consumption as "back up" for wind and solar (actually, the primary energy supply).

The way to build a zero-emission electric power grid is with hydro and nuclear; that's the only way it has ever been done, but it works so well that the French did it totally by accident.  If we can get the public past its brainwashing about "we almost lost Detroit" (a lie), grid-level energy storage can be provided by sodium-cooled reactors feeding heat to molten nitrate heat-storage systems and then to steam generators.  Batteries should be prioritized to MHEVs, HEVs and PHEVs, which currently achieve the maximum fuel savings per installed kWh.  BEV is currently limited by resource constraints and should not be promoted.


Gasbag may have the best answer/approach.

Over 10,000,000 to 50,000,000 near future BEVs with large batteries (average 50 to 100 kWh each ) could become the ideal mobile storage source, if/when properly manage with Grid 2.0 technology.

This approach could kill two birds with the same stone. 1) reduce pollution and GHGs from ICEVs, allow the introduction of more clean solar/wind/hydro REs and the accelerated closing of polluting CPPs and NGPPs,


And there's the broken record again.

No matter how many times I do the math for AlzHarvey, he comes back with the same old debunked talking points.


Sooner or later, SAEP will have to accept the arrival of more REs. BEVs/FCEVs, fixed/mobile storage units, improved Grid 2.0 to make better use of many million mobile storage units and the future H2 economy to replace current polluting bio and fossil fuel economy.

I leave nuclear out until such time that the N-industries start innovating again and manage to reduce TOTAL cost to the level required to compete with REs.

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