Comparative Study of Techno-Economics of Lithium-Ion and Lead-Acid Batteries in Micro-Grids in Sub-Saharan Africa
Micro-grids will be a critical element of extending modern electricity services to the roughly 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who currently lack it, yet barriers remain to micro-grid deployment at scale. Though more affordable than grid extension for many communities lacking energy access, micro-grids are expensive on a per-kilowatt-hour basis.
This report takes a close look at the cost of batteries in microgrids to evaluate whether lithium-ion (Li-ion) or lead-acid batteries are optimal to minimize costs, and it assesses which operational practices for batteries lead to the lowest life-cycle cost (LCC). The purpose of this report is to fill gaps in understanding the role that batteries and battery behavior play in micro-grid operations and economics. For developers, these findings could serve as inputs to battery procurement processes or model data to support assessing design and operational planning decisions. For investors, this report could help parse the risks to micro-grid costs and the relevant trade-offs of decisions developers make. From a research perspective, this study highlights areas that would benefit from additional inquiry, including battery degradation modeling and collecting performance data to calibrate modeling.