Report Shows Increases for U.S. Energy Storage

Energy storage.

According to "U.S. Energy Storage Monitor" report, published jointly by the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA), Washington, D.C., and Wood Mackenzie, Annapolis, Md., 2,156 megawatt-hours (MWh) of new energy storage systems were brought online in Q4 2020.

This is not only an increase of an impressive 182% over Q3 2020, it represents a record for new quarterly storage.

In addition, while a lot of the new storage occurred in residential and non-residential settings, the vast majority of it (about 80%) was new “front-of-the-meter” (utility-scale) storage.

“As prices fall and barriers to storage deployment are eroded, front-of-the-meter (FTM) storage is taking off,” stated the report. “Four out of every five megawatts (MW) deployed in Q4 were FTM storage. The segment contributed 529 MW out of the total 651 MW of storage deployed in Q4.”

At 90.1 MW of new storage deployed, residential storage made up 14% of the total megawatts for Q4. (The remaining 32 MW were installed in non-residential settings, primarily business.)

In 2020 overall, 1,464 MW (3,487 MWh) of new storage came online in the United States.

“The U.S. storage market will add five times more MW storage in 2025 than was added in 2020, with FTM storage continuing to contribute between 75-85% of the new MW each year,” according to the report.

“With continuing storage cost declines and growing policy support and regulatory reform in states and with the federal government, energy storage is on an accelerating trajectory to enable a resilient, decarbonized and affordable electric grid for all,” said Jason Burwen, interim CEO of the ESA.

“The U.S. installed 3,115 MWh of storage from 2013 through 2019, a total that 2020 beat in a single year,” said Dan Finn-Foley, head of energy storage for Wood Mackenzie. “This is the hallmark of a market beginning to accelerate exponentially, and momentum will only increase over the coming years.”

Chloe Holden, energy storage analyzer with Wood Mackenzie, added that the ability of solar-plus-storage to provide backup power is increasingly driving sales, even in markets without additional incentives. This is particularly true in states that suffer from regular power outages.

“We expect an uptick in home battery sales in Texas in the aftermath of February’s devastating outages,” she said.

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