Tesla Will Advance Energy Storage Future by Decades

At Tesla Battery Day, Elon said that the success of Tesla should be measured by how many years they speed up the electrification of transportation and energy. If Tesla achieves the goals of Tesla Battery Day then they bring forward the electrification of transportation and energy by decades.

In 2019, BloombergNEF predicted that energy storage installations around the world will multiply exponentially, from a modest 9GW/17GWh deployed as of 2018 to 1,095GW/2,850GWh by 2040. BloombergNEF is one of the most optimistic analysts in terms of electric car and battery energy storage. The 122-fold boom of stationary energy storage over the next two decades will require $662 billion of investment, according to BNEF estimates. Elon Musk at battery day talked about getting to 3 TWh/year in batteries by 2030. They talked about getting to 20 TWh for $2 trillion with old Gigafactories but reducing this factory cost by 70% with their new innovations. This means that Tesla plans to get to 3TWh/yr or more with an investment of about $93 billion from now to 2030.

Half of what Tesla would do in 2030 and 2031 would surpass the cumulative projection of energy storage installations by 2040.

BloombergNEF projected lithium-ion batteries to halve their cost by 2030. Tesla plans to halve the cost by 2023.

In 2019, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables projected that the global energy storage market (excluding pumped hydro) would reach 158 gigawatt-hour market in 2024. They projected $71 billion to be spent to deploy the new battery storage.

In 2020, BloombergNEF predicts that electric cars will by 26% of new car sales in 2030 and 54% of new car sales in 2040. Tesla delivering on Battery Day would bring those projections forward by ten years or more. BloonmbergNEF said EV battery demand has a slow start to the decade, with 2020 shipments 14% lower than in 2019. But by 2030 demand grows almost 14-fold to 1,755GWh. Tesla indicated that their conservative target is 3,000 GWh of batteries in 2030.

Researchers published a paper in the journal Joule, what it would take to reach 100% renewable energy with advanced and low-cost energy storage.

Joule – Storage Requirements and Costs of Shaping Renewable Energy Toward Grid Decarbonization

$20/kwh for pumped hydro and compressed air already exists but needs a lot of land and specific geography. Pumped hydro is basically like a dam lake of water. The water is pumped behind the dam with extra energy and then when it is needed the water is released to power turbines. It is water that is pumped up to a high location for storage. Compressed air is pushing a bunch of air into a cave or massive storage tank so that the pressurized gas can be later used to make energy.

Energy storage capacity costs below $20/kWh target without the problems of pumped hydro and compressed air would allow a wind-solar mix to provide cost-competitive baseload electricity in places like Texas and Arizona. The cost target would be far easier to hit if we were targeting less than 100% renewables. If other baseload energy sources meet demand 5 percent (95% renewables) of the time, then battery storage could work at a price tag of $150/kWh.

Sulfur batteries might reach $10/kwh in the future. Tesla and others seem like they will be able to bring advanced lithium-ion battery costs to $30-50/kwh by 2030. Stationary energy storage would also not need to be as low weight or as compact as the batteries for cars.

Silanano has a Future of Energy Storage report where they talk about being able to achieve 10,000 charging cycle lifetime by 2030.

To reach this 30,000 GWh of capacity using today’s components, Silanano calculates the needs of each component by weight per year:
● With graphite anodes, we would need about 23 million tons of graphite annually to support this capacity
● With silicon anodes, however, you would need 5-10X less (2-4 million tons of silicon annually) due to the dramatically higher capacity per kilogram of silicon compared to graphite
● With NCA or NCM cathodes, assuming 90% nickel and 5% cobalt, the industry would require 1.2 million tons of cobalt and 22 million tons of nickel

The USA uses 4000 TWh of electricity every year. This is about 100-150 TWh every day. This demand would double or triple if all cars and trucks were electric. If we were moving all of the solar electricity around from the day to night time then that would be where the 10TWh/year of energy storage estimated by Tesla is created. Tesla assumes the battery storage would need to last 25 years. Discharging and charging about once per day is where the 10,000 charging cycle lifetime is important.

SOURCES- BloombergNEF, Silanano, Tesla, Joule Journal
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

50 thoughts on “Tesla Will Advance Energy Storage Future by Decades”

  1. That is certainly a good use of batteries, no doubt, being cheaper than other peak supply methods. Others do see a connection between batteries and renewable, however.

  2. You are kind of stuck in a particular mode of thought. Battery Storage has nothing to do with renewable. The cost of the next MW of power varies by Demand. The higher the Demand the more expensive this MW is. This is due to the fact that more efficient power plant cost more per MW and must run 24/7 to be economical. Less efficient power plant are only used for peak periods and cost more per MW. For Battery Storage to be economical is has to be cheaper per MWH than the price difference between peak daytime MW price and night MW price.

  3. Or, be able to move the energy around. The battery only solution is too restrictive, as the usu case requires moving the energy from windy or sunny places anyway, but once you are going to do that, it creates a slippery slope of doing it all the time, in which case the batteries are backup and leveling, not baseload. Earth to Earth power beaming is here, just not yet using sats. Pipelines and transmission (conduction!) lines are obsolete for long distances.

  4. Two solutions for extended period with out sun light. First, you run your emergency gas turbine units that you already own. Second, treat it like an abnormal weather event and take the extended outage. Renewable does include wind power and hydro. I wonder if you could get an extended period without sun and wind while the reservoirs are empty. But I guess anything is possible but building a system for anything is quite expensive so most companies don't do it.

  5. If only this much effort was going into building nuclear power plants we wouldn't need giant batteries or be taking up enormous amounts of precious land. I feel that this is a solution to a non-problem if one could get over the knee-jerk fear of nuclear energy and insistence that all power must be solar and wind. We already have a power source that is reliable, does not require enormous amounts of land and doesn't need the load balancing.

  6. But that's how many, maybe even most, new products are introduced. The rich start off with them first, because it is expensive, and they can afford to work around the deficiencies of the new tech. Then as the tech becomes cheaper and the deficiencies are solved or worked around it moves to the upper middle class, then the middle class etc.

    Before you know it, mobile phones have gone from things the size of concrete bricks that are limited to wall street titans to something the minimum size a human can use that is sold in mass street markets in Kenya for subsistence farmers to use.

  7. I'm not against batteries, I'm against the notion that batteries can be so huge and cheap that no backup is needed, that each local area can simply rely on batteries and no prob. That may become true! But the advantages of batteries for such large scale baseload use vanish if Earth to Earth power beaming and/OR H become avail, as each can move energy in a way that only having large battery trucks ready to go where the Sun don't shine for a while would work, for batteries. I tried to see a comet from Austin that was broad daylight bright. Clouds came up from the West the first eve it was to be visible, and stayed until long after it was gone. And I mean stayed! No chance to see Sun, or I would have. Solar may have done a little, but these were fairly thick clouds, or rain, the whole time. Batteries for weeks? Once you CAN back that up, just do it all the time, with energy eventually from Space, existing, reliable fusion power.

  8. The batteries don't just store solar energy. They will store whatever is available. It is best if they store the cheapest available energy which as funny as it can be is the energy available at night when the sun isn't shining. Solar energy produce during the day should be sold during the day since demand is high and prices are high.

    The utilities know how much each additional MW of power cost them every hour of every day. All they have to do is calculate how much is cost to charge the battery from 10PM to 6AM. And then how much that power in the battery is worth during the peak hours of the day. If the financing and maintenance cost of the battery is less than the money they can make from that difference then build the unit.

    I think right now battery storage is very economical. And it is very good PR.

  9. Don't buy a EV if recharging it is going to be a problem for you.

    As the number of EV increases so will the number of recharge stations.

    By the way you do know that there can be a queue at the gas station too.

    The roof top solar prices are coming down. Soon, you won't need a debate. It rains where I live. You should only buy it if your roof has the correct orientation and if the price and savings makes sense. It is like CFB and LED lights. I only bought them when it made sense economically. I am a greenie in the sense of saving dollars.

  10. So if I did but cheat his way is not cheat and obstruct. Cheat his way is not necessarily criminal and can indicate deficient moral attitude. No need to stamp my post, I am not going to change that part.

  11. You absolutely DID use the word "cheat" about Musk's activities. Don't try to deny it. Here is the quote:

    "Is the Musk going to cheat his way again, obstructing the best solution with a massive investment on an inferior one that the world will eventually accepts only because his ability to dump it on it forcing his one solution car battery only fits all?"

    The timestamp on that post is September 28 11:43 PM, if you need to refresh your memory about your own words. I don't know what time zone that 11:43 PM is — I'm reading the post in the Pacific Daylight Time time zone, if that helps.

  12. We need to be able to move the energy around OR have huge batteries, or collect the energy in Space, where it is reliable. Of course, the nuke batteries solve all such problems forever.

  13. Yes I get where you are coming from.

    Batteries that smooth out the grid can be small and cheap because they are used regularly but for short periods of time.

    Batteries that support modern society through a snowstorm must be massive and expensive (tens of GWhr) but they are used infrequently.

    The big battery costs much more and is used less. Keep the batteries in cars where they are used daily.

  14. Oregon gets their renewable power from hydropower which is quite reliable but geographically limited (unless you are say, Oregon).

    Texas has LOTS of wind and has built LOTS of wind turbines. So much so that I think they could use surplus wind power to make Hydrogen.

  15. I looked through the EU's Hydrogen economy PPTs and they are motivated by full decarbonization. Part of that means decarbonizing process heat and for that they need hydrogen.

    Batteries in 4 door sedans? Absolutely. Batteries to even out the grid? Sure. I'm not so sure that we want to go down the path of ~GWhr batteries charging with solar power and discharging in to process heat.

  16. I hear you, but Texas is 22% renewables and I have never had a single rolling blackout. Oregon has more renewables than California and I don't think they have blackouts. The problem in California is just a reckless rollout and mismanagement.

  17. Don't underestimate the guy. Remember that iron phosphate batteries were nowhere on the horizon and now they are part of the great plan. Elon is nimble and will adapt if necessary.

    What really surprises me, given his really high intelligence, is the vehemence of his environmental concerns and his belief that future energy production must be "sustainable". For instance, he locked Alex Epstein on twitter. For just having a different opinion….

    I guess that Elon spent all is IQ-points on the question "how" and not on the question "why"….

  18. The problem is that electricity -> battery -> electricity yield is like 80% while electricity ->hydrogen -> electricity yield is like 20%. Renewable electricity is not cheap enough.

  19. Bob and his friends are pretty rich, maybe the top 5% rich, to afford two expensive cars, just so they don't have to wait. The elite market is there, but it'll always be tiny.

    Actually, the options available, or not, to charge a Tesla, never mind other options for other EVs, are dizzying enough to challenge even a rocket scientist. The vast majority of people will never go through all this just to charge their vehicle, even if they can afford one, which nearly all cannot: https://www.autopilotreview.com/how-long-charge-a-tesla/
    A better option – if it ever gets out of test mode – might be the low voltage Quantino from nanoflowcell:
    This replaces the electrolyte, like filling with gas, only non-toxic and non-flammable, so much safer (the latest Tesla charge cable has to be water cooled, so they seem to be reaching some sort of practical limit in shoving electricity down a cable at high speed). The Quantino outperforms the Tesla and has more range too.
    But, oy, it's been in beta mode a long time.

  20. When you say effective it is a charade. Effective is the better solution that is getting pushed aside by his lesser product and he is promoting.
    You are misreading again I didn't use cheat and you are missing the whole point.
    Market obstruction do happen actually very often, when a product that is already out mass produced and therefore had price reduction preventing the introduction of a likely better product that cannot get in as it hasn't been produced and therefore it is still more expensive than the lesser product.
    There are huge losses to the economy because of that. One day it will be understood as a market failure and we will have regulations for leveling the field.

  21. Actually, my assumptions about 30-minute charge times are too rosy, by about 2X. 30 minutes gets you only 170 miles on a charge, and that only at a Supercharge station, which, being rare, might charge you more for electricity than a slower charging station, or else Tesla (and it's only Tesla that has them) will eat the cost:
    Of course, with every eaten cost, Tesla's profit goes down, or the cost of its cars has to go up, which may explain why they are so expensive still.

  22. Bob and his friends are pretty rich, maybe the top 5% rich, to afford two expensive cars, just so they don't have to wait. The elite market is there, but it'll always be tiny.

  23. The solution many will suggest is charging at work or in a specially equipped garage at home, but both of those require a different kind of infrastructure that's never been done and that involves working out deals with individual land owners and the grid operator(s).Not saying it can't be done, but it is pretty slow to run out so far (I know of 1 EV charging garage in my NYC neighborhood and it isn't the one conveniently located in my building). Personally, I would not buy an EV I'd have to wait even half an hour to charge, and today, even that is an optimistic time for a full charge from near zero. And if you're only going to charge when the battery is down to a half charge – which makes sense if you are afraid of not finding an EV station – that means charging every 165 miles or so (that's being generous unless you can afford a $100,000 Tesla (with options: https://fortune.com/2017/01/22/tesla-long-range-electric-car/#:~:text=Tesla%20Quietly%20Introduces%20Longest-Range%20Electric%20Car%20on%20the,a%20range%20of%20between%20100%20and%20300%20miles.), in which case maybe you have a servant or spouse to wait for a charge for you; someone with that kind of money isn't used to waiting). That only compounds the wait times, for both you and the EV station, though 15 minutes is better than 30, at least.

  24. Cheat and obstruct by offering effective products at a low price?

    Those words have been tortured beyond all recognition.

    What's next? You accuse him of faking his results on tech comparisons by not putting billions into improving the alternative technologies?

  25. Range isn't as big a problem as people think it is.

    When it comes to selling something, if people think something is a problem, that IS the the problem.
    It doesn't really matter if the problem is real or not.

    Having said that, this is an issue that is highly subject to social proof and word of mouth.
    Bob buys an EV because he gets free charging at work, can recharge at home too, and has a Porsche for any trip that needs a longer range.
    Steve, Chris and Al see that Bob has no trouble at all, and he chuckles when the 4th Gulf war sends the price of oil spiking briefly to $200. So when they next buy a car, they are convinced an EV is a good move.
    Kath, Usha and Ricardo see that their friends Chris and Al are onto a good deal, so they abandon the idea they had about multi-hour recharging and they move onto the bandwagon.

    It takes a while to ramp up, but so does the actual production, so it may not be a limiting factor at all.

  26. The probabilities don't work:
    It's not uncommon for a gas station to have 2 or 3 cars waiting to get gas during a busy rush hour, then be open most of the day. It doesn't pay to put in more pumps if they are going to be idle most of the day.
    Right now, there are so few EVs, that it's very rare for 2 to pull into the same charging station at once, but that won't be so once EVs represent 10% or more of cars.
    2 ICE cars waiting for gas=10 minutes, annoying for the second driver, but not unacceptable.
    2 EVs waiting for a charge, and one or both run the risk of being late for work, even getting fired, plus it would be EXTREMELY annoying to have to wait 60 minutes if you're the second driver waiting for a charge, or worse if it's raining/cold/in a bad neighborhood (thieves are smart staker-outers).
    And what about the slow turnover to the owner of the EV station. Hard to make a living serving 16 EVs on a good day, but more like half that, in real life with surges and lulls. A single Cybertruck throws your whole daily charge turnover math off too, though it's better for you not to wait for 2 EVs instead of a big truck. Do you add to the cost of electricity for your still-rare EV station, but then electricity is not such a bargain over gas and cost-of-ownership goes up?

  27. My power is going out regularly in CA and Newsweek and NPR ADMIT that it's because of renewables. It's seriously not a total solution. Millions of lives are being disrupted because of the way it's been pursued in CA. Don't give me any dribble about saving the environment if I can't see it in the blackout.

  28. Just to show how confusing these things are, "every MW" is not recordable, without a time reference, to get energy, for storage need calculation. It is an instantaneous power. But that is nit-pick. The problem with batteries is that you cannot "calculate how much storage they will need at a price point" without knowing how much sun there will be. So either overbuild the batteries or supply power beaming, etc, to balance supply AND load variations. Then, the batteries are a back up!

  29. "And what happens when 10% or more get EVs, and there start to be lines at the local EV station?"
    Then more EV stations will be built.

  30. What nonsense is that? We are not going to be able to install solar on the moon in big quantity in the next couple of coming decades.

  31. The problem with range isn't miles driven per se. It's: will consumers have the patience to wait 30-60 minutes for a recharge at an EV charging station on their trip? Not everyone can have an overnight recharge station at home, and not knowing where the next recharge station will be can be as unsettling as running low on gas in an ICE car, or even worse, because a rescue truck can't pour a gallon of gas into your tank to get you to the next station.
    And what happens when 10% or more get EVs, and there start to be lines at the local EV station? Then, your 30 minute charge can turn into 60 minutes. With ICE vehicles, that would be 5 minutes turning into 10, but not really, because there are so many gas stations and no car takes more than 5 minutes to fill. It's a case of small time-takers being spread out over many stations. It just works better. Now, if you can get to 1,000 mile ranges, then a charge is more like maintenance, and you don't have to worry day-to-day, just plan for it weekly.
    Rooftop solar only works if you have a good roof and some rebate system to offset the initial layout. Even then, it's a bit complex and fragile, and needs regular cleaning for optimal solar capture.

  32. Every utility keeps a record of every MW they produce. They can accurately calculate how much storage they will need at a price point.

  33. Range isn't as big a problem as people think it is. Most people don't commute from more than 100 miles a day. As for cost, a price reduction is always good but Tesla sells all of the cars it produces so there is a strong demand for the cars at the current price. As for the large suburban homes, roof solar is a great solution.

  34. There is already a big market for batteries to support grid stabilization. That market is basically untapped. Then there is the market for peak demand shaving. Utilities charge large customer for both consumption and demand. Using a battery plant to reduce this peak could save large customers a ton of money. There is a future market for batteries to replace gas turbines for peak power. Gas turbines are expensive to run because of high maintenance and low efficiency. Batteries can target the two highest peaks for the day.

  35. You cannot afford the power distribution needed even if the stationary batteries were free, compared to Criswell LSP total cost. And you still would need the energy!

  36. A very good outlook, as the storage is then a more natural feature. Please include H as a valuable commodity, if you did not consider it as obvious. Then, only as *line current* is needed, need it be made from them. Power beaming will handle the base load problems of intermittency and load variability which local batteries cannot, unless really overbuilt. Too bad batteries don't flow thru Space, like power beams.

  37. He lacks much incentive to do so, because they're totally unsuitable for vehicles, and the other uses of his batteries are just spinoffs from the cars.

  38. $57,400 in 2011 is about $68,000 inflation adjusted in 2020, and the Long Range Model S is $74,990. So $6990 off or about 9.2%. Of course you also get a lot of features he didn’t promise in 2011 for that price.

  39. Well why not? But whereas the prices of Elons batteries are soon here, the price of the sulfur flow batteries are guess-estimates.

    On the other hand, if Tesla would refine the sulfur flow battery technology, I'm sure they could make it very cheap….

  40. A lot has to happen for EVs to ramp up production as shown in the future curve, but most of it has to do with increase in demand. And for that to happen there has to be:
    1. Drastically shorter charge times, like 5m instead of 1 hour or so, while…
    2. Increase in range 2X (or, alternately, >5X (>1,000 miles) while not achieving #1), while…
    3. Decrease in price by 2X-4X, so $20,000 baseline car, or
    3a. Increase in income 2X-4X, but this would increase demand past what EVs could meet, even with the optimistic curve above.
    4. Not simply shifting pollution off to grid utility and suburban sprawl (the average rural family household uses about 2X the energy as the average urban household, and that's before factoring in transportation & cost of services provided to far flung rural areas).
    Mass transit, despite recent setbacks, still looks like the transportation option of a future with ever more percentage of people living in urban areas. Nothing Musk is doing increases the space given over to cars where most people will live and work. Maybe telecommuting will finally make it so people won't have to commute, but then why have a car at all/as much? That reduces Demand, EV or otherwise.

  41. Nope, the answer should likely to be Sulphur flow Battery, probably the lowest cost utility battery in the horizon.
    Is the Musk going to cheat his way again, obstructing the best solution with a massive investment on an inferior one that the world will eventually accepts only because his ability to dump it on it forcing his one solution car battery only fits all?



  42. Using solar and wind energy to produce valuable commodities like methanol and ammonia and even water from the atmosphere would make a lot more sense than dramatically increasing lithium demand with mega-batteries.

  43. I'm still waiting on the Model S that was supposed to cost $57,400 as announced in 2011. Let's get on that one Mr. Musk.

  44. "If we were moving all of the solar electricity around from the day to night time" This is local storage, moving in time, rather than distance. Storing, perhaps. The local solar is quite variable, so the batteries will need a backup, strangely. Considering more batteries, transmission grids, power beaming, or H tanks/pipelines, it seems that being able to actually be "moving all of the solar electricity around" would be the ideal! But then, the batteries would only be needed for backup.

  45. "The USA uses 4000 TWh of electricity every year. This is about 100-150 TWh every day." So, how much is that per hour, and per second? The energy capacity of a battery is the product, so TWh makes sense for that. But one has no idea how many times (often, actually) the thing will be cycled to supply these implied or calculable POWER levels. These things are confusing enuf! Edit: OK, this is for per day.

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