U.S. Energy Storage Defies COVID-19 With Big Second Quarter Gains

By Rick Laezman | Sep 10, 2020
Shelves lined with many large batteries




While many industries have suffered during the pandemic, others have persevered.  Some have even thrived.

The U.S. energy storage industry posted one of its best periods of growth ever in the second quarter of 2020. Projections are for more growth as the pandemic wanes.

According to the “U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, Q3 2020” published in September by Wood Mackenzie Power, Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Energy Storage Association, Washington, D.C, the U.S. deployed 168 megawatts (MW) of storage in the second quarter of 2020.

That’s a 72% increase from the previous quarter and 117% more than the same quarter in 2019. Those numbers make it the strongest second quarter yet, and the second-highest quarterly total ever. (The distinction for the highest total goes to the fourth quarter of 2019, which saw 186.4 MW of storage deployed.)

Measured in terms of megawatt hours (MWh), the results were similar. The United States deployed 228 MWh in the second quarter, representing a 38% growth from the previous quarter and also the strongest second quarter ever.

According to the report, storage markets in California and Hawaii helped drive the trend. California leads the nation in energy storage deployment in all major categories, including residential, commercial and front-of-the-meter storage. Besides California and Hawaii, other states with large deployments include Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Commercial storage was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter, but residential storage had a record quarter, which helped the industry’s overall growth.

Analysts at Wood Mackenzie project the trend to continue after the negative effects of COVID-19 subside. They project the U.S. energy storage market to grow six-fold, from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 to over 7 GW in 2025. Buoyed by that kind of growth, they expect the U.S. energy storage market to reach a value of $6.9 billion in 2025.

About The Author

LAEZMAN is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at [email protected]

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