New tech could ‘complete the puzzle of the energy storage market’

IDTechEx Research looks at an emerging class of new storage technologies set to take the market by storm

New tech could ‘complete the puzzle of the energy storage market’

The electricity market is evolving to allow a higher integration of variable energy sources and a new class of devices is approaching the market to satisfy this necessity.

A new report released by IDTechEx – “potential stationary energy storage technologies to monitor” – the emerging class of energy storage devices, characterised by long storage duration and MW size power output, are investigated.

While existing energy storage devices are already populating the market, from Li-ion batteries to pumped-hydro energy storage, this new class of storage technologies will aim to complete the puzzle of the energy storage market.

Pushed from the electrification of the automotive sector, Li-ion batteries have been deeply investigated in the last decades and are currently the standard choice for short and medium-duration storage.

On the other end of the storage market, pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) are the main energy storage systems supporting the grid. These systems have a power capacity of GW scale (1000s of MW), and long storage time, from days upwards.

In between these two storage systems, a new group of storage devices is now approaching the market, with an intermediate power range, between MW to GW scale and an energy storage capacity that is almost indefinite.

Power and storage capacity comparison of different technologies. Source: IDTechEx Research report “Potential Stationary Energy Storage Device to Monitor”

The devices investigated by IDTechEx include:

  • Gravitational Energy Storage (Piston-Based; Underground; UnderWater)
  • Advanced Rail Energy Storage
  • Compressed Air Energy Storage
  • Liquid Air Energy Storage

The market addressed by these systems aims to improve the quality, and resiliency of the electricity grid, and distribution networks. Therefore, it is aiming to address the front-the-meter (FTM) section of the electricity grid.

These devices support the electricity grid providing peak-shaving service, grid deferral, and frequency regulation, among other possible services.

Moreover, because some of these technologies involved the use of several turbines, some of these devices can address more than one service at the time, therefore increasing the value stacking of these technologies.

Although they come with high capital costs, and are in their initial demonstration phase, these devices are a promising solution to stabilise the electricity grid and reach a high level of integration of variable renewable energy sources.


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