Heavy investment in grid-scale batteries show next energy trends

industrial batteris cpaulfell Technical Review Middle EastHeavy and increasing investment reflects the changing patterns in the energy market. (Image source: cpaulfell)International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that grid-scale battery investment is up 10 fold since 2010

Fatih Birol addressed the World Energy Investment 2016 Press Conference on 14 September 2016 with a particular focus on the good news for grid-scale battery investment. At US$1bn, investment in grid-scale batteries is up 10 fold since 2010, and was 10 per cent of electricity storage investment in 2015. The main reason for this increase was in order to invest in the storage of hydro produced power. According to the report, China, the USA, The European Union and India were the largest investors in this technology.

However, the report shows trends which battery investment is only part of. Oil and gas has dropped 24 per cent in investment since 2014 to US$583bn. This is mainly a result of cost reductions triggered by lower oil prices. But the main trend, which is expected to continue into the years to come is the major shift in investment towards low carbon sources of energy.

Renewable power spending was flat from 2011-2015 but produced one third more electricity thanks to smarter deployment of improved wind and solar technology. US$221bn, US$313bn and US$21bn was invested in energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and new nuclear plants respectively.

Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, added, “We see a broad shift of spending toward cleaner energy, often as a result of government policies. Our report clearly shows that such government measures can work, and are key to a successful energy transition. But while some progress has been achieved, investors need clarity and certainty from policy makers.”

Currently, the world is producing 420kg/Mwh. This is a 20 per cent improvement on the existing fleet. However, the IEA estimate that within two decades, we need to be at 100 kg/Mwh. However, with the current trends of investment, confidence should be high.

However, we must wait for the report on 16 November in World Energy Outlook 2016 so see if this investment is enough.

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