In the future, lithium batteries will become the most competitive in the field of energy storage

Researchers at Imperial College London (ICL) have recently developed a predictive model that can be used to determine the lifetime cost of nine power storage technologies in 12 different applications between 2015 and 2050. The model concludes that lithium-ion battery cells will be the cheapest technology in the coming decades. The results of this research have been published in the journal Joule.

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Iain Staffell, a senior author of the paper, said: "We have found that lithium-ion batteries follow the pace of development of crystalline silicon solar panels. Lithium-ion batteries used to be expensive, only for niche applications, but they are now being manufactured in large quantities. Its cost is falling much faster than other energy storage technologies."

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The ICL model combines data from more than 30 peer-reviewed studies. Studies have shown that the cheapest energy storage mechanism at present is pumped storage combined with hydropower. The water source is pumped through the alternate energy source to a higher altitude reservoir and then releases the gravitational potential of the water when needed. However, as time goes by, the cost of pumping storage will not decrease, while the cost of lithium-ion batteries will continue to decline. This makes the latter the best choice for most applications after 2030.

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Lead author Oliver Schmidt said that personally, he has been skeptical about the energy storage technology of lithium-ion batteries, but when it comes to the comprehensive cost of energy storage, the cost of lithium-ion batteries will be significantly reduced. Advantage. In the future, although researchers cannot predict how new materials or technologies will influence market trends, they hope that the model can be used to test various technical cost and performance assumptions and help industry and policy makers make informed investment decisions.

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