Stationary energy storage can offer billions of dollars in growth, but lower-cost batteries are key. Flow batteries are an emerging stationary energy storage option, which this report analyzes. Within the stationary energy storage market, four flow battery chemistries have seen some commercial traction. Vanadium-based systems account for the majority of these, with 24 MW / 75 MWh of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) deployed. Commercial development of flow batteries is still in the early stages, and while vanadium has the current lead, the most competitive systems may eventually come from electrolytes that are currently at lab scale today. Flow batteries suffer from relatively poor energy density, and improving both energy and power density will drive down key costs. When applied to VRFBs improvements in cell stack power density can bring down VRFB system costs by 33%. In the optimistic case, significant project cost reduction could yield a $380 million opportunity or 760 MWh of flow battery systems in 2020. While in the likely case, redox flow batteries will capture about $190 million in 2020 or 360 MWh.
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