Additional policy support is needed to increase the use of batteries to store energy if the world is to hit its Paris Agreement climate change targets, according to a new report.

Under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) sustainable development scenario (SDS), 266GW of battery storage needs to be deployed by 2030, increasing capacity by 80GW from the current level.

During 2017, the rate of deployment was “flat” at 620MWh, excluding pumped hydro storage, which the IEA said was “insufficient” to hit the Paris target under its SDS.

The total available storage volume, excluding pumped hydro, stood at 15.3GWh in 2017.

Slow deployment in Europe

The IEA pointed to how policy changes in South Korea had led to a near-tripling of the installed base during 2017, including discounted retail rates, low-cost credit and eligibility for renewable energy certificates.

An announcement concerning a 150MW “mega-battery” in South Korea was also highlighted as significant, as was the commissioning of a 100MW Tesla batter in Australia.

Yet deployment in Europe and Japan “slowed significantly”.

“In the UK, despite strong initial interest in storage in the 2017 capacity auction, just over 10% of pre-qualified storage capacity cleared the market,” the IEA said.

More broadly, the IEA’s report said only four of the 38 clean energy technologies tracked under its SDS were “on course” to meet the Paris Agreement targets.

The report praised the progress made by solar, electric vehicles, lighting, and data centres and networks.

“Meeting long-term sustainability goals requires an ambitious combination of more energy efficient buildings, industry and transport, and more renewables and flexibility in power,” the report said.

> See the IEA's figures