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