Is the world on the brink of an energy storage boom?

I think we’re seeing the beginnings of an energy storage boom. Don’t get me wrong, I think that there are a few years left until practices change and energy storage really hits its stride, but it feels like the momentum which makes that change inevitable is picking up.

The stories in the news keep coming out, and they point to increasing commercial and political support for the technology across a widening range of applications.

There’s been the industrial scale mega-projects, such as Elon Musk’s plans for storage for Massachusetts wind farms, or grid-scale battery storage in Australia, or separate plans for grid-scale battery storage in Berlin, or Alphabet’s own thermal-salt “Malta” solution.

But the latest story which grabbed my attention was that Ikea will start selling battery storage to solar batteries to UK homeowners.

Ikea – that’s right. Solar batteries stocked in the affordable supermarket of regular consumer furniture.

Solar batteries in the UK – that’s right. In a notoriously sun-sparse country there might be a commercial case for solar batteries.

Homeowners – that’s right. They want to sell these things for every-day use to ordinary people.

Well, let’s see. The cost of lithium ion cells has apparently come down 73% since 2010, and it’s expected to fall further. H2Go’s CTO, Luke Sperrin, thinks that storage on the industrial scale is cheaper still with Hydrogen.

So...we’ve got decreasing costs of energy storage at the same time British Gas announces that it will increase electricity prices 12.5%.

I have commented in the past that energy companies may soon be obsolete. I am even more convinced about that now.