Finally, the time for energy storage systems has arrived. It’s not just an experimental technology anymore, It’s serious business. Energy storage is the missing key which can make renewable power sources like wind and solar truly bankable and grid more stable. There is lot of activity around the world to adopt energy storage in the mainstream power projects.

Data published by department of energy (DOE), United States of America gives us useful insights into where we stand today and what the future looks like for energy storage.

If we look at the operational electro-chemical technology based electrical energy storage (EES) plants, below is a snapshot of top ten countries who make up for more than 90% of installed energy storage. USA leads the way; Japan follows but not very closely. Asian countries like China and Korea are catching up followed by EurEnergy-EES-storage-installation-countriesopean countries. Surprise element here is Chile where AES energy Storage developed a battery based storage system to meet the critical grid reliability application. The storage unit continuously monitors the condition of the power system and responds immediately with up to 20MW to any significant frequency deviations (i.e., the loss of a generator or transmission line).

While USA has been more focused on deploying storage for grid stabilization and frequency regulation. PJM territory is leading the way for energy storage in the US fast-frequency regulation market.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been instrumental in promoting energy storage. FERC Order 755, as it is known, provides performance payments for faster, more accurate and higher MW-mileage resource

Application of energy storage-japan-usa

High adoption of solar power in Japan is one of the key drivers for electrical energy storage systems there. According to a report published in Japan Today, in regards to installation places for energy storage, residential products will continue to account for a large ratio, and the ratio will be 66.0% in 2020.

Demand for energy storage in South Korea is driven predominantly by KEPCO’s (state owned utility) frequency regulation programme. It would be reasonable to say that, government focus and favourable policy is driving the energy storage in the countries which are leading.

Below is a snapshot of what are the key applications driving the growth of energy storage across the world.5

Two major growth areas for energy storage are and will be

-Frequency regulation in order to synchronize generation assets for electrical grid operation

-Renewables capacity firming to control the intermittency and variability that comes with renewables like wind and solar. -Electric energy time shift is another area to watch out for. Energy storage comes in handy when there is a rush of power demand as energy storage can discharge in seconds and satisfy the facility’s needs.

You can read in more detail about applications of energy storage with solar here

While application of energy storage in one of the drivers, falling cost of technology for electrical energy storage systems is another key driver specially in markets like India.

installation-of-batter-technology-in-ees-electrical-energy-storageAccording to pv-magazine report published on Nov 19, 2015, lithium battery prices to fall by roughly 50% over the next five years, while flow battery costs will decline by approximately 40%, and lead batteries, by around 25%.

Lithium-ion batteries adoption is continuously increasing and costs are continuously falling. While they have proven themselves on grid tied projects serving short duration power needs, the question being are they capable of providing hours of energy at a go? The breakthrough research and development indicates that they are capable of it. On the other hand, Vanadium Redox flow batteries have started creating their space in the market while Lead Acid is slowly losing the game for large scale energy storage deployments.

Most of the energy storage technology provider are offering li-ion batteries. BYD of China, NGK Insulators & A123-NEC of Japan are leading providers of EES technology.Below is the snapshot of the top 10 technology providers in the currently operationenergy-storage-ees-technology-providers-companiesal storage systems.

NGK Insulators is focused on providing Sodium based battery storage solutions. Saft offers Nickel based batteries along with Li-ion.

AES of USA is one of the organizations which is creating a place for itself in this space. It is adding more partners to enter new territories and tap new opportunities. AES has entered into a partnership with power management company Eaton which will offer AES’s Advancion energy storage platform in European, Middle Eastern, and African markets.Similarly it has also partnered with Mitsubishi to expand its reach. It has also partnered with battery suppliers like Samsung & LG Chem for its various projects.

We can conclude that energy storage is set for a massive growth. It will be a very interesting story of our times to see this technology change the meaning of energy. Which countries will take the lead, who will be the biggest innovators, which technologies are here to stay, only time will tell but we will keep a close watch on it so be with us.




About Author

Poonam Patel- Energy Evangelist

With experience spanning across various energy segments like Diesel Generator, Solar, Fuel Cells, Energy Storage – Poonam is passionate about making energy efficient, clean and available to people who currently do not have access to it. Connect with her at Linkedin to discuss more. 

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The article only share understanding and knowledge of author and does not claim data to be accurate or perfect.The data used in charts has been collected from the website of department of energy (DOE), USA. It has been analysed to the best of the ability of author and it is only for indicative purpose to understand the market better. Some of the data has not been verified by DOE but has been used in analysis.