BNEF: Global energy storage investment to hit $1.2trn by 2040

Global investment into energy storage technologies including batteries is set to reach $1.2trn by 2040 as technology costs fall, according to new research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Released on Tuesday (6 November), BNEF’s latest long-term energy storage outlook predicts that the global energy storage will grow to reach a cumulative 942GW/2 or 857GWh by 2040, with research, development and project installation being backed with more than $1.2trn from the investment community over the next 22 years.

The analysis attributes this prediction to an anticipated fall in the cost of battery technologies, with such devices expected to cost 52% less in 2030 than they do now, according to BNEF.

BNEF’s energy storage analyst Yayoi Sekine said that this decrease in price will help spur the uptake of storage in the transport and energy industries in particular.

“We have become much more bullish about storage deployments since our last forecast a year ago,” Sekine said.

“This is partly due to faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs, and partly to a greater focus on two emerging applications for the technology – electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy access in remote regions.”

Other key findings include a prediction that storage will account for 7% of the total installed power capacity globally in 2040. The outlook reveals that most capacity additions installed before 2030 are likely to be industry-scale, with meter applications set to overtake large-scale projects at some point between 2030 and 2040.

The forecast additionally claims that annual energy storage deployments will exceed 50GWh by 2020 – three years earlier than BNEF predicted in its 2017 analysis.

Aside from predictions on global capacity, technology pricing and innovative advancements, the study forecasts which markets are most likely to benefit from the energy storage revolution. BNEF has named China and the US as the nations set to increase their storage capacity the most, with India, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea and the UK completing the top nine.

But while developed nations continue to hold the top spots, this year’s forecast states that developing countries in Africa are likely to turn to storage in order to avoid the costs associated with extending the grid or relying on diesel generators.


Recharging your batteries

The research from BNEF comes shortly after trade bodies RenewableUK and the Solar Trade Association (STA) published research revealing that planning permission applications to install energy storage facilities in the UK have quadrupled since 2016.

The organisations this week released a database on 400 of the nation’s existing and planned energy storage projects, revealing that UK applications for storage portfolios totalled just 2MW of capacity in 2012, soaring to a cumulative total of 6,874MW in 2018.

As the storage revolution continues to gather pace – with some predicting that the sector will grow on a trajectory similar to the solar industry during the early 2000s – energy market analyst Aurora Energy Research has estimated that more than £6bn will need to be invested in the UK’s energy storage market by 2030. 

The early signs of investment are encouraging, with the UK’s largest storage portfolio carried out in June by UK Power Reserve and energy storage firm Fluence, and Scotland installing its first utility-scale battery facility in September.

To find out more about energy storage, you can download our edie Explains report by clicking here.

Sarah George

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