Renewable energy relies heavily on energy storage devices like batteries to have uninterrupted power supplies during non sunny days and nights. The role of batteries is also very crucial in the coming era of smart grids. While production cost of solar energy has sharply come down in last two years due to fall in the prices of solar cells but the decline in the prices of batteries have not matched the falling levels.
All over the world the prices of renewable energy is expected to sooner of later match the energy costs from conventional means. The one weak link which is urgently seeking attention is the energy storage. By 2020 EU may be getting about 20% of its energy from renewables. This will be quite a jump from the levels of 2010 when the same ratio was 12.5% and 2004 levels were 8.1%.
China and India are the two nations which are expected to contribute handsomely to the demand in renewable energy segment in the near future. India with its ambitious targets in Jawahar Lal Nehru solar Mission is expected to commission 20000 MW by 2022.
Having said so, the world has not paid much attention to the energy storage devices. More R&D is needed to reduce their prices by at least 50% level in next 2-3 Years time frame. This is all the more important when energy storage batteries are expected to play a major role in smart grids which adjust power supplies to meet the demand across a network.
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