Techno-Economic Comparison of Electricity Storage Options in a Fully Renewable Energy System

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To support increasing renewable capacity for a net-zero future, energy storage will play a key role in maintaining grid stability. In this paper, all current and near-future energy storage technologies are compared for three different scenarios: (1) fixed electricity buy-in price, (2) market-based electricity buy-in price, and (3) energy storage integrated into a fully renewable electricity system. In the first part of this study, an algorithm is devised to simulate strategic buy-in of electricity for energy storage. This analysis yields a qualitative decision-making tool for a given energy storage duration and size. Building upon the first part’s findings, an integration study gives insight into expected power prices and expected storage size in a typical northwestern European fully renewable energy system. The integration study shows significant need for electricity storage with durations spanning from one to several days, typically around 40 h. Pumped Hydro Storage and Pumped Thermal storage surface as the best options. The overall levelized costs of storage are expected to be in the USD 200–500/MWh range. Integration of storage with renewables can yield a system-levelized cost of electricity of about USD 150/MWh. Allowing flexibility in demand may lower the overall system-levelized cost of electricity to USD 100/MWh.