Energy storage (ES) technologies offer numerous financial benefits within electrical generation, transmission, and distribution systems. With the incorporation of energy storage into the grid, the utility sector and customers can expect reduced financial losses due to outages and poor power quality. Energy storage solutions can improve the efficiency of, and thus reduce the costs associated with, load following, frequency regulation and provision of reserves. They can also improve the return on renewable energy generation investments, enable profitable power market arbitrage, enable the deferral of electric infrastructure investments, and reduce end-user electricity costs.
Established energy services pricing, however, is at odds with ES capabilities to provide all three services—generation, transmission and distribution. FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is responsible for policy development and rate rulings. Concern that ES may ‘double-dip’ recovery of infrastructure costs by utilities is being weighed.
“Energy Storage Technologies in Utility Markets Worldwide,” a new market research report just released by SBI Energy, reviews the market for energy storage technologies applied in the global utility sector. The report examines opportunities for energy storage systems to beneficially impact the generation, distribution, and transmission of electricity. Front-running energy storage technologies for such applications are discussed.
Specific applications in the utility sector and their benefits to value chain participants, including end-users, are highlighted. The report also quantifies the historic, current, and projected market size for various energy storage technologies in the utility sector. Profiles of key suppliers of energy storage technologies are also included.
Ongoing growth in renewable generation, the emergence of microgrids, substantial public and private investments, and continued R&D that improves the cost/performance of energy storage technologies are expected to drive strong growth over the next several years.
The global market for energy storage solutions in the utility sector is expected to grow by 15.8% per year to over $10 billion in 2015. Meanwhile, the value of energy storage solutions in the United States is forecast to increase 26.6% per year to nearly $2 billion in 2015.
Expert analysts Shannon Shuflat and Akash Shah present the major technologies that are either currently commercialized or in advanced stages of development such that they are likely to impact energy storage markets in the next five years. Technologies reviewed include: pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage, electrochemical capacitors (super/ultracapacitors), flywheels, and a host of batteries. Battery technologies discussed include lead-acid, lithium-ion, molten salt, and vanadium redox and zinc bromide flow batteries. SMES, or Superconducting magnetic energy storage, thermal storage and vehicle-to-grid as a potential storage solution are also presented.