Journal Article


What are the energy and environmental impacts of adding battery storage to photovoltaics? A generalized life cycle assessment

Abstract

Renewable electricity generation is intermittent and its large‐scale deployment will require some degree of energy storage. Although best assessed at grid level, the incremental energy and environmental impacts of adding the required energy storage capacity may also be calculated specifically for each individual technology. This paper deals with the latter issue for the case of photovoltaics (PV) complemented by lithium‐ion battery (LIB) storage. A life cycle assessment (LCA) of a 100MW ground‐mounted PV system with 60MW of (lithium‐manganese oxide) LIB, under a range of irradiation and storage scenarios, show that energy pay‐back time and life‐cycle global warming potential increase by 7% to 30% (depending on storage duration scenarios), with respect to those of PV without storage. Thus the benefits of PV when displacing conventional thermal electricity (in terms of carbon emissions and energy renewability) are only marginally affected by the addition of energy storage.

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Authors

Raugei, Marco
Leccisi, Enrica
Fthenakis, Vasilis M.

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Dates

Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-01-23



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