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2030 climate targets require rapid battery expansion: IEA

Batteries can also play a vital role in improving access to electricity for those who still lack it. (Image source: IEA)

In its recently published ‘Special Report on Batteries and Secure Energy Transitions’, the International Energy Agency (IEA), has indicated that batteries need to lead a sixfold increase in global energy storage in order for 2030 energy and climate targets to be met

This realisation comes despite battery deployment in the power sector more than doubling last year, with growth outpacing almost all other clean energy technologies in 2023. Primarily, it was falling costs, advancing innovation and supportive industrial policies which drove this demand for the technology.

Over the last 15 years, the IEA has shown that battery costs have fallen by more than 90%, with the most common type now based on lithium-ion. In the energy sector – which accounts for more than 90% of overall battery demand – battery deployment increased by more than 130% year-on-year, with 42GW added to electricity systems. The transport sector also experienced a surge, mainly due to the increasing sales of electric cars.

Energy and transport lead the way

“The electricity and transport sectors are two key pillars for bringing down emissions quickly enough to meet the targets agreed at COP28 and keep open the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C,” remarked IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “Batteries will provide the foundations in both areas, playing an invaluable role in scaling up renewables and electrifying transport while delivering secure and sustainable energy for businesses and households. The combination of solar PV and batteries is today competitive with new coal plants in India. And just in the next few years, it will be cheaper than new coal in China and gas-fired power in the United States. Batteries are changing the game before our eyes.”

The IEA report found that battery deployment will need to scale up significantly between now and 2030 in order to ensure the world is on track to meet its energy and climate goals. For this to happen, the report found that costs need to come down even further without compromising quality and technology. In addition, greater diversity in supply chains is also required, including for extracting and processing the crucial minerals used in batteries