The IEA has set the storage sector a challenge. It says the world will need 10,000 GW-hours of batteries and other forms of energy storage by 2040, a 50-fold increase on today. The good news is that a joint study by the European Patent Office and the IEA reveals electricity storage patenting activity has grown 14% a year over the past decade. Here the IEA summarises the findings of its comprehensive report. It explains that Japan and Korea lead, but Europe and the US has the innovation ecosystem to stay in the race. The drivers are primarily consumer electronics and EVs, with storage for intermittent wind and solar also featuring. The acceleration is helped by cost reductions since 2010 of nearly 90% for lithium-ion batteries for EVs, and by around two-thirds for stationary applications including electricity grid management. Good progress, but to meet the target the IEA concludes that decision-makers still need a better understanding of the technology landscape and their role in it.
***Innovation in storage is just one of the topics we will be discussing at our first “CHINA: Carbon Neutral by 2060 – INNOVATION” online conference and workshop. The idea is to inform you on the nature of China’s transition, the role of innovation and how EU businesses can play a role. Do you have expertise that fits the opportunities provided by the biggest energy Transition on the planet? Then join us to find out what it will look like and to discuss issues around market entry. REGISTER HERE.***
Affordable and flexible electricity storage technologies are set to catalyse transitions to clean energy around the world, enabling cleaner electricity to penetrate a burgeoning range of applications.
Between 2005 and 2018, patenting activity in batteries and other electricity storage technologies grew at an average annual rate of 14% worldwide, four times faster than the average of all technology fields, according to a new joint study published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency.
The report, Innovation in batteries and electricity storage – a global analysis based on patent data, shows that batteries account for nearly 90% of all patenting activity in the area of electricity storage, and that the rise in innovation is chiefly driven by advances in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in consumer electronic devices and electric cars.
Electric mobility in particular is fostering the development of new lithium-ion chemistries aimed at improving power output, durability, charge/discharge speed and recyclability. Technological progress is also being fuelled by the need to integrate larger quantities of renewable energy such as wind and solar power into electricity networks.
Big price declines
The joint study shows that Japan and Korea have established a strong lead in battery technology globally, and that technical progress and mass production in an increasingly mature industry have led to a significant drop in battery prices in recent years. Prices have declined by nearly 90% since 2010 in the case of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, and by around two-thirds over the same period for stationary applications, including electricity grid management.
REGISTER for our opening session
CHINA: Carbon Neutral by 2060 – Session 1 (plenary): Innovation
November 17, 09.00-10.30 CET ONLINE panel and workshop
- Matthew James, Energy Post (moderator)
- Dolf Gielen, Director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC)
- Charlotte Roule, CEO ENGIE China
- Patrick Child, Deputy Director General, DG ENER
Including an interview with Cristina Lobillo Borrero, Director, DG ENER
Organised by Energy Post and ECECP
50-fold capacity increase needed by 2040
Developing better and cheaper electricity storage is a major challenge for the future. According to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, for the world to meet climate and sustainable energy goals, close to 10,000 gigawatt-hours of batteries and other forms of energy storage will be required worldwide by 2040 – 50 times the size of the current market.
“IEA projections make it clear that energy storage will need to grow exponentially in the coming decades to enable the world to meet international climate and sustainable energy goals. Accelerated innovation will be essential for achieving that growth,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “By combining the complementary strengths of the IEA and the EPO, this report sheds new light on today’s innovation trends to help governments and businesses make smart decisions for our energy future.”
Asia, the U.S., Europe
“Electricity storage technology is critical when it comes to meeting the demand for electric mobility and achieving the shift towards renewable energy that is needed if we are to mitigate climate change,” said EPO President António Campinos. “The rapid and sustained rise in electricity storage innovation shows that inventors and businesses are tackling the challenge of the energy transition. The patent data reveals that while Asia has a strong lead in this strategic industry, the US and Europe can count on a rich innovation ecosystem, including a large number of SMEs and research institutions, to help them stay in the race for the next generation of batteries.”
The joint study follows the publication earlier in September of the major IEA report Energy Technology Perspectives 2020, which has deepened the IEA’s technology analysis, setting out the challenges and opportunities associated with rapid clean energy transitions.
A guide for decision-makers
As governments and companies seek to make informed investments in clean energy innovation for the future, sector-specific insights like those offered by the joint study will be highly valuable, including for helping bring about a sustainable economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. The innovation study provides an authoritative overview of the technologies and applications receiving research attention – and of those that are underserved. It also shows where they stand in the competitive landscape.
Innovation is increasingly recognised as a core part of energy policy, and this year the IEA has been introducing more tools to help decision-makers understand the technology landscape and their role in it – and to track progress in innovation and the deployment of technologies. This includes a comprehensive new interactive guide to the market readiness of more than 400 clean energy technologies.