Energy storage deployment is forecast to increase significantly through 2050

In a June article, Engineering 360 highlighted a report that predicts U.S. utility-scale diurnal energy storage capacity will expand significantly through 2050.

U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is conducting an ongoing Storage Futures Study (SFS) that explores the role and impact of energy storage in the evolution and operation of the U.S. power sector. The SFS is designed to examine the potential impact of energy storage technology advancement on the deployment of utility-scale storage and the adoption of distributed storage and the implications for future power system infrastructure investment and operations.

In the third of six planned SFS publications, NREL assesses the economic potential for utility scale diurnal storage and the effects that storage capacity additions could have on power system evolution and operations.

According to this latest publication, the study found that diurnal storage is “extremely competitive” economically and that there is “significant market potential for diurnal energy storage across a variety of scenarios using different cost and performance assumptions for storage, wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), and natural gas.”

Across all scenarios modelled, NREL reported that utility-scale diurnal energy storage deployment is shown to increase significantly through 2050, totaling over 125 GW of installed capacity in the modest cost and performance assumptions. This represents a five-fold increase from 2020 installed storage capacity of 23 GW. Depending on cost and other variables, deployment could total as much as 680 GW by 2050.

You can read the Engineering 360 summary here or download and view the latest NREL Storage Futures Study publication.