A total of 59 gigawatts (GW) of battery storage will serve the US power grid in 2050, according to the Reference case scenario of the US Energy Information Administration's Outlook on Wednesday.
The projections for battery storage in the Annual Energy Outlook 2021 (AEO2021), which reflects current laws and regulations, are based primarily on falling battery costs and the growth in non-dispatchable renewables.
Most battery storage systems currently installed in the US are lithium-ion batteries, which help add flexibility to power grids with large amounts of non-dispatchable renewables, such as wind and solar.
The AEO2021 includes alternative scenarios, or cases, that examine the sensitivity of results to changes in the costs of renewables and the availability of oil and natural gas resources.
"Of the projected battery storage capacity in 2050, in all cases, 16 GW come from historical builds, announced projects, and state policy mandates," the EIA stated.
The Low Oil and Gas Supply case and Low Renewables Cost case show the most growth in energy storage relative to the Reference case.
"In the Low Oil and Gas Supply case, which assumes higher natural gas prices than the Reference case, natural gas combined-cycle electricity generation declines more than in the Reference case and is replaced by coal, nuclear, solar, and wind generation.
“To support this generation mix, 67 GW more battery storage capacity is built compared with the Reference case," according to the EIA.
In the Low Renewables Cost case, which assumes a 40% reduction in the cost of renewables and energy storage compared with the Reference case, increased solar and wind generation will replace coal, nuclear, and natural gas combined-cycle generation.
"Through 2050, 108 GW more battery storage capacity is added compared with the Reference case," the EIA concluded.
By Gulsen Cagatay