Over the last decade a surge in lithium-ion battery production has led to an 85% decline in prices, making electric vehicles and energy storage commercially viable for the first time in history.
Batteries hold the key to transitioning away from fossil fuel dependence, and are set to play a greater role in the coming decade.
UBS estimates that over the next ten years the energy storage market in the United States could grow to as much as $426 billion, and there are many ways to buy into the surge, including chemical companies, battery cell makers, car companies, solar companies and utility companies.
“Capturing the massive economic opportunity underlying the shift to controls and battery-based energy systems requires that planners, policymakers, regulators, and investors take an ecosystem approach to developing these markets,” sustainability-focused research firm Rocky Mountain Institute said recently.
What a difference a decade can make. In 2010, batteries powered our phones and computers. By the end of the decade, they are starting to power our cars and houses too.
Over the last ten years, a surge in lithium-ion battery production drove down prices to the point that — for the first time in history — electric vehicles became commercially viable from the standpoint of both cost and performance. The next step, and what will define the next decade, is utility-scale storage.
As the immediacy of the climate crisis becomes ever more apparent, batteries hold the key to transitioning to a renewable-fueled world. Solar and wind are playing a greater role in power generation, but without effective energy storage techniques, natural gas and coal are needed for times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t howling. And so large scale storage is instrumental if society is to shift away from a world dependent on fossil-fuel.
UBS estimates that over the next decade energy storage costs will fall between 66% and 80%, and that the market will grow to as much as $426 billion worldwide. Along the way entire ecosystems will grow and develop to support a new age of battery-powered electricity, and the effects will be felt throughout society.