Cost of Energy Storage Options with Discharge Times
– from AEMO report on generation of 100% renewable energy for Australia
The fundamental issue with solar, wind and tidal power is that it does not generate continuously or at predictable levels. Turning intermittent power into constant, baseload, power generation is the ultimate aim of storage solutions. The development of better storage solutions for electricity generated through renewable means remains the single largest area of research. All the other components of the solution are either at parity cost with fossil fuels or will be within the next fifteen years (as demonstrated in the studies). Thankfully this research is well underway with advances being made in the realm of electricity storage at a solid pace. One solution that advanced in 2013 that isn’t shown above is flow batteries that use a different technology to all the above solutions and could provide a cheap way to provide megawatt hours of storage.