We've always said energy storage isn't just about batteries, but if costs reduce at the rate solar has demonstrated that perhaps could largely be the outcome. The more energy generation is decentralised the less the opportunity and cost benefit for the likes of pumped hydro or compressed air. With technologies and costs constantly changing/improving, and variations in the stability of governments and policies in some regions it must be a pretty tough call for investors as to where and when to invest, yet investor certainty is critical to the level of renewable and storage assets we need to deploy!
A lot of focus has been on the role storage can play in smoothing out the intermittent output of wind and solar power, but what matters to potential investors is the price curve rather than the demand curve, the authors argue. One of the challenges in trying to make those evaluations is that it has been difficult to compare the costs of different storage technologies in “two dimensions" — that is, both in terms of energy (kWh) and power (kW). The MIT study, “Value of storage technologies for wind and solar energy,” aims to bridge that gap with cost comparisons across technologies. Trancik said that earlier studies have quantified the benefits of particular storage technologies for given locations and uses, such as frequency regulation, energy arbitrage, converting intermittent renewables into baseload power, and increasing the profits of intermittent renewable energy.