Combining solar energy with long duration energy storage (LDES) significantly enhances the potential of renewable energy in industrialisation with the market for such solutions hitting $3.6 trillion by 2030.
Research from the LDES Council estimates the LDES to be a $3.6 trillion industry with an installed capacity potential of four-six TW by 2030. Its development will yield additional savings of up to $540 billion.
Storage is maturing very quickly, and benefits are already being realized. In most jurisdictions today, the primary focus has been on Battery Energy Storage (BESS), particularly Lithium-Ion Batteries.
A report by the International Solar Association (ISA) and the LDES Council unveils a bold vision for the future of renewable energy, showcasing the pivotal role of LDES in realising ambitious solar targets. It was presented at COP28 in Dubai.
The report sets a bold target of 75,000 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2050, emphasizing the necessity of LDES to fully realize the potential of these solar installations for complete decarbonization.
“Solar, already the most economical source of new electricity globally, will further strengthen its competitive advantage. Combined with LDES, solar becomes a continuous, reliable 24/7 energy source,” ISA Director General Ajay Mathur said.
LDES Council CEO Julia Souder said “Developing LDES is the best pathway to full decarbonization for economies worldwide. LDES provides the scaffolding for reliable, resilient, around-the-clock renewable energy for industry and the electric grid.”
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The report said that combining solar energy with long duration energy storage paves the road to industrialization without carbonization for the world’s fastest-growing economies.
The report said that in developing countries, LDES has already shown it is cheaper than fossil fuel options.
For instance, India has seen a series of Round-the-Clock (RTC) and Firm and Dispatchable RE (FDRE) Power Auctions where renewable energy capacity is integrated with energy storage to supply bespoke supply solutions.
In the first tender of this kind in 2020, Greenko Group was the winning bidder at a fixed tariff of ₹4.04/kWh (about $49/MWh) for supply of around the clock including a minimum of six hours peaking supply.
The tender allows significant flexibility to the utilities in managing their demand and supply. The recipient states (Goa and Haryana) purchase new coal power for ₹6.2-6.3/kWh (about $75/MWh). Therefore, for the life of the 900 MW project, Haryana and Goa will save approximately ₹3,000 Crore ($360 Million) per year in cost savings.
Since then, the Indian market has further matured with multiple auctions from utilities/renewable energy developers for contracting standalone energy storage capacity.
In the first such tender, NTPC through its renewable arm contracted from Greenko 500 MW/3000 MWh of energy storage capacity for 25 years at fixed annual storage charges of $22 - 23/kWh.
Greenko combines wind and solar with off-river reservoir-pumped hydropower. This allows six-twelve hours of energy storage with a faster permitting timeline and minimal environmental impact relative to traditional pumped hydropower.