As cities increasingly adopt methods to help them generate and consume clean power, storage is emerging as an important tool.
A recent study by market research firm Navigant Research analyzes this trend. Entitled, "Smart Cities and Energy Storage," the study was published in the fourth quarter of 2017. It examines the role energy storage can play in smart cities and how smart cities, in turn, can drive the deployment of energy storage.
Navigant defines a smart city as one that adopts advanced or "smart technology" to help it "reduce carbon-intensive peak energy use and develop resilient energy systems."
"Smart energy" is another term in the suite of "smart" vocabulary utilized by Navigant, referring to energy technologies that support the objective of reduced carbon emissions, greater efficiency, resiliency and sustainability.
According to Navigant, distributed energy resources (DER) and energy storage are two integral elements of the smart energy platform. The company expects the emergence of energy storage solutions combined with the deployment of DER will increasingly help smart cities adopt and deliver smart energy solutions. This will impact both routine and non-routine applications.
As it concerns routine applications, energy storage will support the delivery of low carbon DER, such as variable wind and solar power, to reduce the cost and carbon intensity of peak energy use. For non-routine applications, energy storage can improve the resilience capabilities of smart cities by enhancing access to reliable electricity for first responders and shelter facilities during severe weather or emergency events.
These two benefits combined will increasingly make storage an integral part of the smart cities/smart energy phenomenon. Navigant projects worldwide annual smart energy services revenue to grow from under $100 billion in 2017 to approximately $225 million in 2026.