U.S. grid-wide storage capacity could exceed 125 GW by 2050: NREL

In a recent report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) As part of the Storage Futures Study (SFS), analysts discovered significant market potential for utility-scale daytime storage (up to 12 hours) in the United States power system of by 2050, predicting growth of over 125 GW for grid-wide storage capacity in the United States. States.

Called the ‘Economic potential of daytime storage in the US electricity sector‘, the NREL-led, DOE-backed, multi-layered research project Energy Storage Grand Challenge explores how storage adds the most value to the grid and deployment increases as the power system enables storage to simultaneously provide multiple networks. services and solar photovoltaic (PV) penetration is greater. It also examines the impact of the results on future investments and operations in power system infrastructure.

This report models the evolution of daytime storage (

“We find significant market potential for daytime energy storage in a variety of modeled scenarios, primarily occurring by 2030,” said Frazier, NREL analyst and lead author of the report. “To achieve a cost-effective storage deployment, the power system will need to enable the storage to provide time-shifted capacity and energy grid services,” added Frazier.

Although storage can provide many services to the network, the report points out that the economic deployment of storage is primarily driven by the combination of the value of capacity and the value of energy trade-off (or time lag), and that the combination of these value streams is necessary to optimize storage deployment to be achieved. The NREL analysis establishes a strong correlation between the penetration of photovoltaics and the potential of the storage market. The increase in PV generation results in reduced net load peaks in the evening, increasing the market potential for the value of storage capacity. Greater production from PV also creates more volatile energy price profiles, which increases the market potential for the time value of storage energy.

Added new features to model storage

For the current analysis, researchers added new capabilities to NREL’s Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) capacity expansion model to accurately represent the value of daytime battery energy storage when allowed. to provide network services. Cost and performance metrics focus on lithium-ion batteries, as the technology has a higher market maturity than other emerging technologies, the researchers explained. Since the value of storage is highly dependent on timing, ReEDS simulated system operations every hour.

The NREL researchers used ReEDS to model two sets of scenarios – one that allows storage to provide multiple grid services and one that restricts the services that storage can provide. All scenarios used different cost and performance assumptions for storage, wind, solar PV, and natural gas to determine the main drivers of energy storage deployment.

Capacity potential multiplied by five by 2050

In all study scenarios, the deployment of large-scale daytime energy storage increases dramatically through 2050, totaling more than 125 GW of installed capacity under modest cost and performance assumptions – a more than 10-fold increase. of five from the current total. Depending on cost and other variables, the deployment could total up to 680 GW by 2050, according to the report.

The study noted that initially the new storage deployment is primarily for a shorter duration (up to 4 hours) and then progresses to longer durations (up to 12 hours) as the deployment increases. , mainly because longer-term storage is currently more expensive. In 2030, the annual deployment of battery storage will vary from 1 to 30 GW depending on the scenarios. By 2050, the annual deployment will range from 7 to 77 GW.

System flexibility is key

To understand what could lead to the future deployment of network-wide storage, NREL modeled the technical-economic potential of storage when allowed to independently provide three network services: capacity, time lag of storage energy and operating reserves. To explore the drivers of storage deployment, researchers looked at the techno-economic potential of storage services, the value of those services, and the costs of storage. Experts believe that the potentials are techno-economic as they depend on both technical factors (e.g. storage efficiency, shape of load) and economic factors (e.g. amount of PV deployed, how much generator is on the sidelines).

The NREL found that not allowing storage to provide firm capacity has the greatest impact on future deployment, although not allowing firm capacity or energy time lag services can also significantly reduce potential deployment. On the other hand, operating reserves do not lead to the deployment of storage within the study because they find limited overall market potential for this service. The current study reinforces the symbiotic nature of solar energy and storage, which has been highlighted by several previous NREL studies. More PV generation shortens peak demand periods and decreases the required energy capacity of storage, thereby increasing the value of storage capacity and effectively lowering the cost of storage by allowing shorter life batteries to be a competitive source. peak capacity. The NREL found that the value of storing energy to provide peak capacity increases over time as the load increases and existing generators retire.

Solar PV generation also has a close relationship with jet lag services, the report points out. Increased PV production creates more volatile energy price profiles, increasing the potential for storage energy time lag. Like peak capacity, the value of the energy time lag increases over time with increased PV penetration.

Transport and storage show a limited interaction in the modeled scenarios, the most significant correlation being between transport and wind. Transmission and storage provide flexibility to the electricity grid, one by moving energy in space and the other by moving it in time. The modeling results show that wind benefits more from spatial flexibility, while PV benefits more from temporal flexibility. Transmission is positively correlated with wind capacity, but the additional wind does not encourage additional storage, as the wind often does not change the shape of the net load in a way that increases the potential for peak storage capacity. .

While large amounts of wind and PV power are deployed in model scenarios as part of the least expensive solution, the daytime generation profile from PV allows for further deployment of storage, the report found. In high wind deployment scenarios, the wind reaches high penetrations without large storage deployment.

This analysis demonstrates that energy storage has the potential to become a significant contributor to system capacity, with new installations reaching 132 GW by 2050, even with conservative storage assumptions by the researchers, noted the study. Although the cost and performance measures in this study focus on Li-ion batteries, as the technology is more mature in the market today than other emerging technologies, the results of this study can be generalized. to other storage technologies that meet assumed cost and performance projections. The deployment of storage in this study is driven by a combination of capacity and energy value. Optimal storage deployment is sensitive to the relationship between these value streams and the cost of storage.

In a recent report, NREL called for an adaptable approach to decarbonization solutions and highlighted the challenges and ways to achieve a 100% renewable electricity grid in the United States.

NREL’s previous research achievements include discovering new materials for the super efficient solar cells of the future and developing a solar cell with an efficiency greater than 47%.

The latest report added that future work on the topic would examine the relationship between daytime storage (which is the focus of this work) and longer-lived storage resources, especially in highly carbon-free grid conditions outside of the scope of this work, such as those approaching 100% Renewable or Clean Energy. The report further suggests that more work is needed to understand the relationship between storage and demand-side flexibility nationwide.



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