A report by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) reveals that energy transformation is occurring at a better pace than predicted. Huge investment made in the network of advanced battery technology accelerates this transition phase.
Previously planned investments totalled around US$150 billion through 2023. And, out of this US$ 1.4 bn are for storage technologies in the first half of 2019.
Lithium-ion Technology to Emerge Dominant in Forthcoming Years
According to RMI, these investments are likely to propel new battery and lithium-ion technologies for new applications quicker than before. This is likely to lessen decarbonization cost in key areas and speed up energy transition across the globe. It is likely to surpass the transition speed as predicted in conventional global energy paradigms.
A report by RMI, titled “Breakthrough Batteries”, forecasts “self-reinforcing feedback loops” between economies of scale, public policy, research, and development, and manufacturing. It is likely that it will give battery performance a thrust while driving the cost as low as $87/kWh by 2025. However, Bloomberg L.P has predicted the present cost at US$ 187/kwh earlier this year.
The report states that these changes have resulted in cancellations of already planned natural gas power production. There is a risk of new natural gas plants becoming stranded assets, whilst the existing ones could lose their competitiveness by 2021.
RMI researchers anticipate that lithium-ion technology will remain dominant 2023 and will better its performance gradually. They also expect another bunch of new battery technologies to come up, which will cater to certain uses. Heavier transport will make use of solid-state batteries like Li- sulfur, Li-metal, and rechargeable zinc alkaline. In future, electric grids might opt for long lasting and low cost batteries. Such batteries include zinc based, high temperature, and flow based.
The RMI report further anticipates that many of these new generation energy storage technologies could be made available in the market by 2030.