As the need for energy storage expands, consumers are getting in on the action. According to the market research firm GTM Research, the market for behind-the-meter (BTM) storage is prepared to capitalize on this trend.
Anyone can make a difference by installing solar panels, buying an electric car or changing out those old power-guzzling incandescent lamps. However, the so-called tipping point often rests on the shoulders of corporate America.
Energy Storage is a major challenge for the renewable-energy industry. With sufficient storage, when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing, intermittent power generation wouldn’t be such an issue.
It’s hard to predict precisely what electrical contractors will face in 2017, because many things will influence the landscape where they work. However, there’s every reason to believe that new and emerging technology in a changing digital world should bring opportunity and optimism.
Transformative technologies have almost become the new norm in the age of digital communications and renewable power. For example, consider the impact of cell phones, Wi-Fi, the internet, wind and solar power, and electric vehicles on the industries, markets and consumers that have adopted them.
Storage technology has emerged as the next stage in the evolution of renewable energy as a viable form of power on a grid scale. Governments, utilities and residential customers are embracing a wide range of storage technology to counter the variability of wind and solar generation.
This summer, New York-based Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) spent $1.6 billion to upgrade its delivery system, including 12 network transformers, 70 overhead transformers, 16 underground feeder sections, 37 overhead sections of power lines and reinforcement of 25 electric feeders.
As renewable power increases its market share, energy storage assumes a larger role. Recognizing the importance of government benchmarks, California lawmakers have taken steps to raise the state’s energy-storage standard.
The City of Santa Monica, Calif., recently received a $1.5 million grant to plan and design a microgrid that will incorporate renewable energy (including solar), combined heat and power, small-scale waste-to-energy, energy storage and electric vehicle charging.
For renewables and energy efficiency, effective storage technologies are a key ingredient to their continued success. For its part, the battery industry is keeping up. According to a recent study by the firm Navigant Research, the market for next-generation battery technology is ready for growth.
Until recently, only two governmental bodies in the United States had set targets for energy storage: California and Massachusetts. Recently, though, New York City became the third governmental body to do so.
The future of energy efficiency may be more than saving energy. It may also be efficient energy capture, storage and delivery. Technologists, engineers and some forward-thinking manufacturers are working to set a bigger table for direct current (DC), and one effort may be all-encompassing.
In the drama surrounding the growth of sustainable technology, a few companies have found themselves occupying a large space on center stage. Recently, two of those companies shined the spotlights on their space with the prospects of a merger.
The success of one technology often feeds another. For example, renewable power and energy storage have each other to thank, in many respects, for their combined rising popularity. Storage helps meet the needs of renewables, and their growth, in turn, increases the demand for more storage.