The Evolution of Behind-the-Meter and Utility-Scale Battery Storage: Global and Indian Perspectives

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Introduction: Powering the Future with Battery Storage

As global industries grapple with the challenges of a rapidly changing energy landscape, battery storage technologies emerge as a frontrunner. With the increasing adoption of solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind generation capacities, stationary battery electricity storage takes center stage. This storage solution acts as a linchpin in bridging the demand-supply gap, facilitating ancillary electricity market services, and more. In the energy transition arena, it promises to be the torchbearer as the shares of variable renewable energy technologies amplify worldwide.

The Dual Role of Battery Storage

Decarbonising both transport and the electricity system, battery storage technology stands out, its importance underpinned by two distinct facets:

  1. Behind-the-Meter Storage: This is primarily used by homeowners and businesses to store electricity generated from solar panels. By enabling increased self-consumption and potentially responding to incentives from grid operators, this storage solution significantly enhances the effectiveness of renewable installations.
  2. Utility-Scale Storage: Serving a broader community, utility-scale storage provides grid services, including frequency regulation and shifting electricity use from midday to evening when solar generation decreases but electricity demand increases.

Battery Storage: A Dive into Cost Trends

The acceleration in the adoption of battery storage technologies is deeply intertwined with their decreasing costs. Data showcases an astounding 98% reduction in the price of lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells from 1991 to 2018. This price plummet is primarily attributed to the global scaling-up of manufacturing processes. Key performance improvements have focused on enhancing energy density, which saw a more than threefold increase, and specific energy, almost tripling in the same timeframe.

Despite these impressive cost declines for Li-ion cells and battery packs, the costs for stationary applications can be marginally higher compared to mobile applications. This disparity arises from the advanced pack and battery management systems mandated by the more intense charge/discharge cycles of stationary batteries.

Globally, between 2015 and 2021, the costs of a fully commissioned energy storage project dropped by 80%. Annual capacity additions witnessed an exponential rise, from 1.6 GWh to 21.6 GWh in 2021, marking a 13-fold growth.

The Indian Scenario and Global Trends

While the global energy storage market has seen consistent growth, the trends in India are particularly noteworthy. Among the major markets for turnkey utility-scale battery storage systems, India’s progression stands out, especially when compared to other significant players like China, the United States, and Europe. As the storage duration advances, the global weighted average turnkey system cost experiences a 20% decrease, shifting from USD 313/kWh to a mere USD 251/kWh.

Small-scale battery storage systems, predominantly linked with PV, have been instrumental in promoting self-consumption. Time series data from Germany indicates a 71% price reduction for these systems between 2014 and 2020. Furthermore, data from Australia and the United Kingdom reflects prices marginally lower than Germany for small-scale residential battery storage systems.

Concluding Remarks: Battery Storage – The Energy Beacon

As nations race towards a more sustainable future, battery storage solutions emerge as the linchpin for a balanced energy ecosystem. The declining cost trends, coupled with the significant technological advancements, pave the way for an energy landscape where renewables reign supreme, and battery storage becomes the backbone of consistent, uninterrupted power. At Firstgreen Consulting, we are committed to ensuring that the world harnesses these advancements. Through comprehensive research and strategic insights, we are empowering businesses globally, guiding them through the intricacies of this evolving energy paradigm.