The market for wind power energy storage systems will reach $1.1 billion by 2015, according to a new analysis.
Analyst firm NanoMarkets states that growth in the wind industry will not be sustainable unless the
matter of cost-effective energy storage is addressed. The intermittent
nature of wind energy generation leads to situations where power is
created at times when demand is low resulting in reduced revenue
generation or outright wasted. Unpredictable wind power also tends to
disrupt conventional electricity grids which are not built to
accommodate highly varying energy sources.
China is likely to account for over one-third of all the revenues from energy storage systems sold to the wind power industry. The Chinese government plans to increase wind generation capacity in the country ten-fold in the next decade and will spend billions of dollars on storage facilities as part of its grid upgrade process. The report notes that, while world-class Chinese energy storage firms are beginning to emerge, the rapid deployment of wind generation in China will also open up opportunities for overseas firms too.
The report notes that much of need for wind power storage at the present time is accounted for by lead-acid batteries, which represent low-cost and mature technology. However, the wind industry will quickly shift to newer higher performance battery technologies such as lead-carbon, sodium-sulfur and flow battery systems, according to NanoMarkets.
Furthermore, the higher performance and lifetimes of lead-carbon batteries compared to traditional lead-acid batteries will give lead-carbon the largest single share of wind-power energy storage sales by 2015 with sales that will exceed $300 million in 2015.
NanoMarkets also sees significant use of mechanical storage including pumped hydroelectric and compressed air storage.
Some U.S. companies currently involved in developing utility-scale energy storage projects include battery makers A123Systems (Nasdaq: A123Systems) and Xtreme Power; as well as fly-wheel company Beacon Power (Nasdaq: BCON) and project developer AES Energy Storage (NYSE: AES).
In addition, utility Southern California Edison (NYSE: EIX) this week finalized a DOE grant to develop an energy storage project for wind power in the Tehachapi region of California.
The utility-scale energy storage market as a whole is expected to reach $35.3 billion by 2020, according to a separate analysis.