Industry Analysts Foresee Breakout Year for Energy Storage
Four developments will support the soaring uptake of energy storage around the globe this year, Utility Dive asserts, after surveying several sector experts.
“I expect a jump in utility-scale energy storage deployments in 2018, perhaps on the order of three times 2017 levels, and possibly including some large storage systems that are not based on lithium-ion batteries,” Rocky Mountain Institute’s Chris Nelder told the outlet.
“Sharply falling prices for lithium-ion batteries” are one big reason for the optimism, Nelder said. They’re being pushed down by increased production at Tesla’s Nevada gigafactory, and the anticipated output from as many as 10 other big battery factories coming online around the world.
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
Advanced Energy Economy Vice President Matt Stanberry believes 2018 will be “the year of the EV,” bringing another dimension of energy storage into the mainstream.
“All major automakers have plans to introduce a full range of [electric and hybrid] models,” Stanberry noted. But the “real leap in EV adoption,” he added, “is likely to come from corporate fleets where savings in total cost of ownership complement sustainability commitments.”
“Companies like BYD and Proterra,” he observed, “are selling heavy-duty EV buses to transit systems and port facilities around the country, and UPS has pre-ordered 125 electric semi tractors from Tesla.”
After a tour of reconstruction in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico, Julia Hamm, President of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, predicted “an expanded focus by communities and utilities on preparing for a changing climate, more intense weather systems, and cybersecurity threats,” with storage and microgrids anchoring more resilient service.
Former U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Jon Wellinghoff forecast that the year will see the “merchant aggregation” of distributed energy resources come into its own. That will mean deploying storage as well as distributed energy generation and demand response management, “to provide multiple grid services and collect revenue from multiple value streams,” he said.
They also suggest the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) may have been slow-walking affairs last fall, when it predicted that global energy storage capacity could triple and costs might fall by two-thirds…by 2030.