Analysis of prospects for increased deployment of utility-scale energy storage technologies in the U.S. power system reveals significant market potential for utility-scale diurnal storage (up to 12 hours) through 2050. U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers determined that storage adds the most value to the grid and deployment increases when the power system allows storage to simultaneously provide multiple grid services and when there is greater solar photovoltaic (PV) penetration.

The NREL Regional Energy Deployment System capacity expansion model was revised to accurately represent the value of diurnal battery energy storage when it provides grid services. Cost and performance metrics focus on lithium-ion batteries in scenarios based on different inputs for storage, wind, solar PV, and natural gas to determine key drivers of energy storage deployment.

Utility-scale diurnal energy storage deployment is shown to grow significantly across all scenarios through 2050, totaling over 125 GW of installed capacity in the modest cost and performance assumptions for a more than five-fold increase from the current total. Depending on cost and other variables, deployment could total as much as 680 GW by 2050.

National storage capacity in the reference case separated by storage duration (left) and across all scenarios (right). Source: NRELNational storage capacity in the reference case separated by storage duration (left) and across all scenarios (right). Source: NREL

The U.S. power system must allow storage to provide capacity and energy time-shifting grid services in order to realize cost-optimal storage deployment.

The agency will conduct a webinar on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, to further consider the possible evolution of the stationary energy storage industry.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com