The dynamics of energy have changed considerably in the green power age, as the growth of one clean technology can often be traced to another. Consider the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and energy efficiency, both of which are tied in many ways to the growth of solar and wind power.
Energy storage is also part of this dynamic. By multiple accounts, the market for distributed energy storage is strong and getting even stronger, also because of renewable energy.
A recent study by Navigant Research, Distributed Energy Storage, highlights the qualities and characteristics of energy storage technology, which are contributing to growth. The study notes a number of factors have combined to create favorable market conditions for energy storage, including utility involvement, cost declines, government incentives, and increased solar PV integration.
A second study also presents a favorable outlook for the industry. According to Wood Mackenzie’s 2019 3rd Quarter Energy U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, rising customer interest and incentives in more states contributed to a 41% quarter-over-quarter increase in the U.S. residential storage market during the second quarter of 2019. The residential storage sector set a new record in Q2 with the deployment of 35 megawatt (MW).
While the study lowered the overall projection for the year due to weaker than expected numbers in some sectors, it projects an increase of 478 MW for all of 2019, which is still an increase of 54% over the 311 MW deployed in 2018.
Lastly, a July study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), The Potential for Battery Energy Storage to Provide Peaking Capacity in the United States, finds that providing peaking capacity could be a significant U.S. market for energy storage. The study focuses on batteries with 4-hour duration, and projects roughly 28 GW of practical potential for 4-hour storage providing peaking capacity, assuming current grid conditions and demand patterns. NREL asserts that the fate of storage is tied to the level of penetration of solar power, projecting that solar capacity could go as high as 50 GW if solar provides more than 10% of the nation’s electricity.