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How renewable-energy deployment is spurring the grid battery storage market

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Energy storage cost comparison and mandates
  3. Battery energy storage: differentiating technological factors
  4. Key battery technologies
  5. The future: mandates and cost declines
  6. About Adam Lesser

1. Summary

State-by-state mandates have helped drive the deployment of renewable energy — namely solar and wind power. On the ambitious end, states like California, Colorado, and New York have portfolio standards that require at least 30 percent of the grid to be renewable by 2020. Even less-ambitious states like Virginia and South Dakota are looking at a minimum of 10 percent in the next five years.

On a global level, renewable energy accounted for 43.6 percent of the world’s newly installed electricity-generating capacity in 2013. The same year saw a record 39 gigawatts of solar installed, versus 31 gigawatts in 2012, and at a lower total cost, to boot. This continued decline of cost in solar is driving even more rapid deployment as the cost comparison of fossil-fuel sources versus solar/wind plus energy storage continues to narrow. In fact, on the margin in island areas we’re already at a point where renewables are cheaper. And on a residential home-by-home comparison in states with great solar radiation (California, Arizona, Nevada), rooftop solar is getting very competitive.

All of this renewable-energy deployment requires energy storage, and so the grid battery storage market is primed for growth.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Eyematrix/Thinkstock.