US Energy Storage Market Forges Ahead

Industry analysts forecast that US$240 billion will be invested in storage applications over the next decade.
Published: Tue 01 Jul 2014

Markets for energy storage technologies in the United States will grow significantly through to 2030. This is according to a Copper Development Association (CDA) study carried out by KEMA which examines the current market for electrical grid energy storage applications and the future potential for technological growth.

The study points out that increased investments will be spurred by state and federal regulatory policies that encourage renewable sources of electric power to supply the grid. [Engerati-Energy Storage-Regulatory framework and market design needs]. Storage plays a major role in facilitating the incorporation of renewable energy into the US power grid.

Drivers accelerating growth

Over 30 states have implemented mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that mandate generation of renewable energy into the electricity generation mix. [Engerati-California’s Energy Storage Mandate-Will Others Follow?] In addition, the recent announcement of the US Environmental Protection Agency's proposed emissions limits for coal-fired power plants are likely to increase that demand significantly.

The research estimates that between 2GW and 4GW of energy storage could be developed over the next five years. This is dependent on financial incentives -- including government policies that support grants and favorable tax policies, as well as direct private investment from venture capitalists and other sources.

Energy storage no longer a “future concept”

The storage industry is on the verge of commercialization and in a state of acceleration due to the demonstration projects that are continuing to test and define grid applications. [Engerati-Finally! An Energy Storage Market Emerges]

Industry analysts forecast that US$240 billion will be invested in storage applications over the next 10 years, with US Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Demonstration Grants project values reaching US$772 million and an associated 537.3 MW.

Technology advancements over the last few years have enabled storage to grow from a "future concept" to an accepted tool in many ways, and utilities are expected to lead as the largest source of future developments.

“Renewable energy generation is on the rise, and energy storage to facilitate distribution of renewable energy is moving from a theoretical technology with small-scale deployments to a major reality," explains Zolaikha Strong, Copper Development Association’s director of sustainable energy. "The copper industry is keenly interested in benchmarking and tracking the success of this technology, because copper intensities in energy storage applications are expected to be significant. Copper is a reliable, sustainable and extremely effective material for many energy storage technologies. The copper industry forecasts tremendous growth opportunities."

Further reading

KEMA-Market Evaluation for Energy Storage in the United States [pdf]

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