Projecting the Future Levelized Cost of Electricity Storage Technologies

Elsevier, Joule, Volume 3, 16 January 2019
Schmidt O., Melchior S., Hawkes A., Staffell I.
The future role of stationary electricity storage is perceived as highly uncertain. One reason is that most studies into the future cost of storage technologies focus on investment cost. An appropriate cost assessment must be based on the application-specific lifetime cost of storing electricity. We determine the levelized cost of storage (LCOS) for 9 technologies in 12 power system applications from 2015 to 2050 based on projected investment cost reductions and current performance parameters. We find that LCOS will reduce by one-third to one-half by 2030 and 2050, respectively, across the modeled applications, with lithium ion likely to become most cost efficient for nearly all stationary applications from 2030. Investments in alternative technologies may prove futile unless significant performance improvements can retain competitiveness with lithium ion. These insights increase transparency around the future competitiveness of electricity storage technologies and can help guide research, policy, and investment activities to ensure cost-efficient deployment.