Long-duration energy storage poised to outcompete lithium-ion batteries

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From pv magazine ESS News site

Interest in long-duration energy storage (LDES) is rising rapidly as demand for clean firm capacity grows. With most LDES technologies still nascent, information about their cost is not widely available. In its inaugural LDES cost survey, BloombergNEF is bringing transparency to the matter.

BNEF has surveyed seven LDES technology groups and 20 technology types in its report and found that the least expensive technologies are already providing cheaper storage than lithium-ion batteries for durations over eight hours.

Thermal energy storage and compressed air storage had an average capital expenditure, or capex, of $232/kWh and $293/kWh, respectively. For comparison, lithium-ion systems had an average capex of $304/kWh for four-hour duration systems in 2023, so generally shorter-term storage.

Storage duration, project size, and location are key factors affecting LDES capex. Gravity energy storage systems, which elevate weights when charging and controllably drop them when discharging, have the highest average capex, at $643/kWh.

The cost reduction rate of LDES technologies will largely depend on the expansion of deployment and the development of routes to market in major regions, BNEF notes.

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