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Current± Predicts: The energy transition in 2022, part four

In 2022 we’ll see a 175% increase in deployment of storage projects. Image: Pivot Power.

In 2022 we’ll see a 175% increase in deployment of storage projects. Image: Pivot Power.

Ed Sargent, business development director at Pivot Power

Storage project deployment will intensify

Energy storage pipelines are booming with many gigawatts in development but as an industry we need to accelerate the rate of delivery and get more of these systems operational. In 2022 we’ll see a 175% increase in deployment of storage projects compared to 2021.

EVs will overtake ICEs

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become far more common in recent years; 2022 could be the year where they finally overtake internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. By the middle of 2022, we will see sales of new pure electric cars and light vans consistently ahead of petrol and diesel vehicles in month-on-month registrations. By the end of the year, EVs will outsell all ICE-only cars and vans.

The EV revolution will reach HGVs

As well as cars and light vans, 2022 will see the first companies adopt electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Not only will these vehicles be deployed in pilot schemes, but we are also likely to see them in normal operations, leading to greater charging demand on an industry level.

Michael Phelan, CEO and co-founder of GridBeyond

New global energy economy emerging

The world is set to add more renewable power capacity in 2021 than ever before. The record-breaking additions of 290GW of renewables in 2021 are a sign that a New Global Energy Economy is emerging. This is driven by stronger support from policies, more ambitious pledges made during COP26 and businesses throughout the supply chain refocusing on sustainability in their operations.

There are also several new technologies on the horizon that could gain traction, such as increasing use of peer-to-peer trading, and innovative green generation technologies. These new supply sources will help offset falls in fossil fuel generation with, consequently, an equally increasing need for grid balancing services and storage technologies.

Volatility managed through technology

The power markets in many jurisdictions reached record highs in recent months, but future prices have not risen to the same extent. This is due to current market highs reflecting issues specific to this winter, but it also highlights some key future drivers for prices and demonstrates some of the challenges associated with a renewables-dominated power mix.

Increasing volatility is likely to put more pressure on systems to shift further towards real-time. This raises several challenges, not least of which is the decision of when to take assets to market. This means technology themes such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, internet of things (IoT), and digitalisation will be of paramount importance as the industry looks to function with the highest efficiency and reliability levels.

Battery storage technologies take centre stage

With the increasing penetration of renewables, an efficient means to increase flexibility in power systems is to incentivise investments in more flexible resources. Over the shorter-term energy storage technologies will inform asset investment decisions.

In tandem with the increase in storage capacity, we can expect to see an increased focus on research into new battery technologies that extend battery life, reduce the threat of lithium-ion flammability, make batteries less reliant on heavy metals such as cobalt, increase the speed of charging, and make them easier to recycle.


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