The role of batteries in meeting the PV terawatt challenge

Peters IM, Breyer C, Jaffer SA, Kurtz S, Reindl T, Sinton R, Vetter M (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2021


Book Volume: 5

Pages Range: 1353-1370

Journal Issue: 6

DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2021.03.023


What role have batteries to play in the transition toward terawatt levels of photovoltaics? In this perspective, we attempt to answer this question by looking at technical, economic, and ecological features of PV-battery systems. We argue that the window of opportunity for batteries lies in the capacities of a few kWh/kWP, the exact amount depending on various factors including battery cost, degradation rate, location, load profile, diversification of renewable energy sources, and interconnections. Using a simple PV plus battery model, we illustrate that such storage capacities efficiently reduce fluctuations in electricity generation, enabling higher PV adoption rates at competitive costs, and with a carbon footprint that is at least five times lower than that of the current energy mixes. Using sensible capacities, batteries are a powerful companion for solar energy, yet technical, economic, and policy innovations are needed to expand adoption. We see longer battery lifetimes and low capacity degradation rates are the most impactful technological parameters. Economic efforts should aim to reduce balance of plant costs and create better market opportunities for stationary storage, whereas policies should provide a strong regulatory framework to facilitate multipurpose usage and sector coupling.

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Peters, I.M., Breyer, C., Jaffer, S.A., Kurtz, S., Reindl, T., Sinton, R., & Vetter, M. (2021). The role of batteries in meeting the PV terawatt challenge. Joule, 5(6), 1353-1370.


Peters, I. M., et al. "The role of batteries in meeting the PV terawatt challenge." Joule 5.6 (2021): 1353-1370.

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