It suddenly strikes me how the very existence of energy storage itself is driven by costs.
If costs were no issue, it would always make sense to add generation capacity to the grid. There would never be a need for energy storage. We could always add peak capacity. Or pair more gas-powered plants to variable renewable energy sources.
OK – I need to correct myself: cost, and the need to avoid carbon generation. But this could be made the same if we assign a cost to carbon generation, which is the only way to allow rational decision-making in the energy domain. Why? Because cost ultimately captures the accumulation of human labor in one way or another – i.e. the true costs to society as a whole.
It is clear, then, that the analysis of energy storage must focus in great part on cost. This is why I get so frustrated when I see another “miracle technology” showing up in a magazine that will solve the world’s energy problems: what works in the lab means nothing unless it can be made commercially viable. And it’s all an issue of cost. Which is why I focus a lot on cost in this blog.
Over the next few days I will discuss some of the basic cost factors in energy storage, and document them in the site pages for EnergyMag.net.