• Batteries are an important part of the global energy system today and are poised to play a critical role in secure and affordable clean energy transitions. In the transport sector, they are the essential component in the millions of electric vehicles (EVs) sold each year. In the power sector, they are becoming increasingly important in utility-scale and behind-the-meter applications as their costs fall and as the share of electricity generated by solar and wind rises.
  • Average battery costs have fallen by 90% since 2010 due to advances in battery chemistry and manufacturing. Today lithium-ion batteries are a cornerstone of modern economies having revolutionised electronic devices and electric mobility, and are gaining traction in power systems. Yet, new battery chemistries being developed may pose a challenge to the dominance of lithium-ion batteries in the years ahead.
  • The total volume of batteries used in the energy sector was over 2 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2023, a fourfold increase from 2020. In the past five years, over 2 000 GWh of lithium-ion battery capacity has been added worldwide, powering 40 million electric vehicles and thousands of battery storage projects. EVs accounted for over 90% of battery use in the energy sector, with annual volumes hitting a record of more than 750 GWh in 2023 – mostly for passenger cars.
  • Battery storage capacity in the power sector is expanding rapidly. Over 40 gigawatt (GW) was added in 2023, double the previous year’s increase, split between utility-scale projects (65%) and behind-the-meter systems (35%). Battery storage has many uses in power systems: it provides short-term energy shifting, delivers ancillary services, alleviates grid congestion and provides a means to expand access to electricity. Governments are boosting policy support for battery storage with more targets, financial subsidies and reforms to improve market access.
  • Global investment in EV batteries has surged eightfold since 2018 and fivefold for battery storage, rising to a total of USD 150 billion in 2023. About USD 115 billion – the lion’s share – was for EV batteries, with China, Europe and the United States together accounting for over 90% of the total.
  • China dominates the battery supply chain with nearly 85% of global battery cell production capacity and substantial shares in cathode and anode active material production. The extraction and processing of critical minerals is also highly concentrated geographically, with China in the lead in processing the most critical minerals. Battery minerals prices have been volatile in recent years, rising steeply in 2021 and 2022 before falling sharply in 2023 and in the early months of 2024. This underlines the need for more investment and diversification as the market expands.