Report: Higher Capacities Mean Energy Storage Ready for Prime Time

energy storage growth report
Tesla’s Powerpack battery storage. Credit: Tesla

A new report from Environment New York shows that energy storage is increasingly becoming a viable option for businesses. Rising renewable energy production means that energy storage is ready for prime time, according to the state-based environmental advocacy organization.

The report, “Making Sense of Energy Storage: How Storage Technologies Can Support a Renewable Energy Future,” offers an overview of current energy storage technologies and illustrates how adopting energy storage measures can improve reliability and resiliency. Energy storage technologies discussed include thermal storage, utility-scale batteries, commercial batteries, pumped-storage hydropower, compressed air, and flywheels.

“Energy storage has been growing rapidly in recent years and that growth is projected to continue,” the report says. DOE data showed there was a six-fold increase in global energy storage capacity from 2007 to 2017, excluding pumped-storage hydropower.

“Combining solar and battery storage is a game changer and opens up so many possibilities for customers and expanding renewable generation,” Green Mountain Power’s VP of innovation Josh Castonguay told Environment New York. “It can be used during outages to keep the lights on and to help reduce peak energy demand, directly reducing costs for customers.”

Looking to the future, the report cites a prediction from GTM Research that the energy storage market will be 11 times larger in 2022 than it had been in 2016. Falling costs as well as the increasing adoption of renewable energy are likely to make energy storage more valuable in the coming years, according to the report.

Elizabeth Berg, a Frontier Group analyst and co-author of the report said in a press release that energy storage technologies aid in the transition to a renewable energy system. “More than 300 new storage projects were added to the grid over the last decade, and at least 300 more are already being planned or built,” she says.

This year promises to be a big one for energy storage in the United States. A number of state regulations, corporate moves like the recent announcement from Siemens AG and the AES Corporation, the proliferation of Tesla Powerpacks as well as grants like the $20 million Massachusetts awarded to energy storage projects have helped lay the groundwork for growth.

Mark your calendars: The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.

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