Utility-Scale Energy Storage Market to Reach $35B by 2020

Revenues from installed, stationary energy storage systems are expected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2010 to $35.3 billion annually by 2020, according to a new market report by Pike Research.

The stationary energy storage sector will play an increasingly larger role in the electricity grid of the future, driven by the proliferation of renewable energy from variable sources such as wind and solar, the expansion of utility smart grid initiatives, and the introduction of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

“Energy storage on the grid addresses several pressing market needs,” says senior analyst David Link. “Today, applications for energy storage include load following, renewable energy grid integration, and renewable energy time shifting. In the coming years, the number of applications for energy storage on the grid will expand to include the opportunity for utilities to defer transmission and distribution (T&D) capital upgrades, time of use energy cost management for the commercial and industrial (C&I) segments, and conventional energy time shifting.”

Link adds that several key technologies are emerging to address the need for long-duration energy storage. Traditional options include pumped hydroelectric storage, compressed air energy storage (CAES), and sodium sulfur (NAS) batteries. Other more nascent energy storage technologies are lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries and flow batteries. While there is room for a variety of technologies, Pike Research forecasts the most significant growth opportunities for CAES, Li-ion batteries, and flow batteries.

A123Systems (Nasdaq: AONE) is one of the major players providing utility-scale Li-ion battery systems, as well as Saft (SAFT.PA) and Extreme Power. And Beacon Power (Nasdaq: BCON) is installing utility-scale flywheel systems for energy storage.

An executive summary of the report is available for free at the link below.

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