The value of energy storage increases with growing shares of renewable energy on the grid, but the availability and cost of storage will determine how successful decarbonisation with renewables can be.
While lithium-ion batteries continue to take the dominant share of new installations by some distance, there are a variety of other technologies looking to complement, combine or even compete. Panellists at the Energy Storage Digital Series looked at the questions of which energy storage technologies are the likeliest contenders for that future.
The number of sites pairing renewable energy with energy storage in the US more than doubled from 2016 to 2019 and the trend is expected to continue, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
With a quarter of all solar project proposals in the US including batteries, transmission grid operators across the country are taking a variety of steps to evaluate the role that can be played in wholesale electricity markets by hybrid power plants – defined as generation coupled with energy storage.
Convergent Energy & Power’s first projects out of a joint venture with Shell have come online, while GE Renewable Energy touted the imminent implementation of the country’s ‘first hybrid electric gas turbine’ project.
Neoen, the French developer which partnered with Tesla on the 129MWh large-scale battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm, South Australia, wants to build an energy superpark in the state that comprises 1.2GW of wind, 600MW of solar and 800MW of battery storage capacity.
The latest project to be switched on in Nigeria’s solar electrification programme for universities is also thought to be the largest ‘hybrid’ plant of its kind on the African continent so far, inaugurated this week at Bayero University Kano (BUK).
Energy use by air conditioning can be both expensive and taxing for the environment, with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, set to trial a three-storey ‘water battery’ to reduce both energy demand and cost.