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IEA Publishes 2050 Roadmap for Energy Storage

IEA19 March 2014: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a study, titled 'Technology Roadmap: Energy Storage,' which aims to promote understanding of the applications, functions and costs of energy storage technologies, and identify the most important actions needed for their development and deployment in light of global climate and energy goals.

IEA's Energy Storage Technology Roadmap, like all of IEA's series of global low-carbon energy technology roadmaps, is based on the Agency's 'Energy Technology Perspectives' (ETP) two degree scenario (2DS), which describes how technologies across all energy sectors may be transformed by 2050 to give an 80% chance of limiting average global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

The study estimates that decarbonization of the electricity sector under the 2DS scenario will require an additional 310 gigawatts of grid-connected electricity storage capacity in the US, Europe, China and India. The roadmap also highlights: significant cost reductions derived from public investments in energy storage research and development; the cost-competitiveness of large-scale thermal storage technologies for heating and cooling in many regions; and significant price distortions that create markets ill-equipped to compensate for the services of energy storage technologies.

The study describes: the status and application of energy storage technologies; a vision for deployment to 2050; and actions and milestones for policy, finance, international collaboration, and energy storage technology development. It further outlines key actions for advancing energy storage technologies over the next ten years, including: incentivizing retrofits of existing storage facilities to improve efficiency and flexibility; developing marketplaces and regulatory environments that enable accelerated deployment; and investing in research and development for early stage energy storage technologies.

Two additional documents accompany the roadmap, namely an illustrated foldout, and a technology annex on existing energy storage technologies and projects. [IEA Press Release] [Publications: Technology Roadmap: Energy Storage] [Publication: Technology Annex] [Publication: Foldout] [Publication: Energy Technology Perspectives 2014]