The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has predicted that due to improvements in battery technology and a fall in their prices, there will be an international ‘mega shift’ towards battery energy storage. They suggest that lithium ion prices could fall by as much as 60% and flow batteries by 40% by 2020. We are all aware of the grid constraints and the need for a harmonised strategy between the DNOs and government (see previous blog http://wattstorshop.com/kpmg-calls-for-a-national-energy-strategy-incorporating-energy-storage/), however this report suggests that the massive increase in energy storage will be driven by demand as consumers and businesses look to install battery storage systems to compliment their solar PV.
In the UK, this move has already started with a high number of new players entering the domestic energy storage market. With two and a half years installation experience already under our belts WATTSTOR are one of the few businesses in energy storage with a viable and tested product that is already on the market and being installed in properties as we speak.
What is also interesting about the report is it has been produced by an Australian Government Agency. As the UK starts waking up to the reality of a ‘creaky’ national grid, we can’t help but think that our own government could do more to embrace and promote renewable energy storage. We were in the fortunate position of having two MPs visit us last week which provided us with an ideal opportunity to make them aware of the potential of energy storage but there is a danger that the government is in danger of falling behind the curve – even more so given the wholesale change in renewable subsidies announced over the last two weeks.
Flow Batteries – What are they and how do they work?
Flow batteries are a technology that is unfamiliar to many. In simple terms the electrolyte is stored separately whereas in a traditional battery it is stored in the same cell as the electrodes. When the electrolyte is passed over the electrodes it generates electricity. The electrolyte can either be fed by a pump or using gravity. Whilst the technology is sophisticated and currently expensive, the main advantages of ‘flow batteries’ are they can be charged quickly, have a long life span and are also easy to maintain.
For the full report please visit http://arena.gov.au/news/sharing-knowledge-on-energy-storage/