IRENA roadmap calls for 150 GW of battery storage by 2030

A new roadmap released today at the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) ninth IRENA Council meeting has set out a pathway for the advancement of renewable energy supported by battery storage.

The Remap 2030 program has prioritized 14 action items across five priority areas that IRENA feels are paramount to effecting lasting change for the energy landscape. The Remap 2030 report posits that, in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change and accelerate the global transition towards more sustainable power generation, the share of renewables in the electricity sector needs to reach 45% by 2030.

Amid the many pathways towards this goal, the one signposted ‘Storage’ is going to prove most pivotal, IRENA adds, stating that around 150 GW of battery storage – alongside a further 325 GW of pumped-storage hydroelectricity – will be required.

The IRENA Remap 2030 has identified a handful priority areas that it feels must be tackled head-on in order to meet global stored energy objectives. These are greater storage to support renewable power sources in remote areas and on islands; consumer-located storage for self-consumption in those countries that have a well-developed rooftop solar industry; grid-located storage for those regions where grid constraints undermine the economy and growth and clean energy; and greater integration of system analysis tools for those regions and nations readying themselves for a switch towards renewables.

"Now is the time to think about integrating large-scale battery storage into the global energy system," said IRENA director-general Adnan-Z Amin. "This roadmap is a starting point for all policymakers seeking to integrate greater storage capabilities, which is necessary to ensure the world is ready for the next phase of growth in renewable power systems."

The ‘Storage sticking point’ has been touted by solar skeptics as the industry’s blind-spot, its elephant in the room, but recent advances in technology, reductions and cost and updates to government support schemes and policies have helped the industry mature to a point where Citi Group is already predicting 240 GW of battery storage by 2050, delivered at system costs as low as $150/MWh.

Tesla’s recent Powerwall rollout promises to bring greater price pressures to the sector, where cost has traditionally been one of the main stumbling blocks. Once the company’s Gigafactory in Nevada is complete, the company claims it will be able to sell home batteries for around $350/kWh. Currently, costs are more than double that for residential-scale storage.