BESS needed in $10 trillion plans to reduce coal emissions

BESS needed in $10 trillion plans to reduce coal emissions

BESS needed in $10 trillion plans to reduce coal emissions 1000 669 Energy Storage Journal

December 1, 2022: Battery storage and renewables will be needed on a massive scale through to 2050 to reduce emissions from coal-generating plants as part of global clean-energy investments totalling up to $10 trillion, according to a new report published on November 15.

Details of the investment needs are contained in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook Special Report, which also notes that the world is “far from heading” in the direction of cutting coal consumption, despite climate commitments.

Under the scenario of pledges already announced by countries, both advanced economies and emerging market and developing economies will rely heavily on batteries to replace coal’s contributions to system adequacy, according to the report.

“In advanced economies, batteries are deployed extensively by 2030 as the unabated coal fleet is rapidly phased down, whereas emerging market and developing economies look to batteries to partially compensate for accelerating retirements of coal only by 2040.”

At the global level, battery storage deployment grows more than 10‐fold by 2030 to 70GW under the announced pledges scenario and the market for batteries continues to expand after 2030, exceeding 160GW in 2040 (including replacements) and 200GW in 2050.

In the ‘net zero emissions by 2050’ scenario, the IEA says the cumulative investment required for coal transitions in the electricity sector reaches an eye-watering $9.5 trillion up to 2050.

Under that scenario, battery storage expands even faster to help replace system services from coal, reaching annual capacity additions of 140GW in 2030 and nearing 300GW by 2040, which the agency says is a level “broadly maintained through to 2050”.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: “Over 95% of the world’s coal consumption is taking place in countries that have committed to reducing their emissions to net zero.”

The agency says governments need to set the right policy and regulatory frameworks, while the private sector can provide much of the necessary investment.

In terms of the supply chain for critical raw materials needed by battery storage, renewables and other clean-tech energy systems, the report says coal transport workers could transfer to supporting the delivery chain “with no special need for retraining”. However, the transferability of skills in processing is limited.

Image: Pexels/Pixabay