IHS Markit: Storage and better grid efficiency could save hundreds of billions each year

The improvement of South Africa's power grid is crucial for the further development of solar and renewables in the country.

IHS Markit has produced a white paper outlining the need to incorporate storage into the electricity grid. The report uses the development of other networks, particularly that of data, as an example of how storage could be effectively implemented.

As well as storage, the report, available here, highlights communications infrastructure – which can be provided by smart technologies – as key to increasing grid efficiency and ensuring that available power is utilized in an efficient way.

Using New York as an example, IHS say that the current system, whereby customers pay for idle capacity which is only required at peak times, is costing an additional $2 billion each year. “This suggests that on a global scale,” say IHS, “hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved each year.”

Declining costs for storage technology were a key driver for its adoption in data networks, and IHS expect a similar trajectory for electricity. “The data network has incorporated a significant amount of storage to provide flexibility and resiliency,” says the report. “Lithium-ion battery technology has a similar cost-reduction profile to SSD data storage, and will enable the electricity network to incorporate multiple hours of storage.”