The grid-connected utility-scale battery storage market is expanding rapidly, driven by impressive technological breakthroughs and growth in manufacturing capabilities. The rising profile of the market has caught the attention of governments, which are now rolling out favorable policy initiatives such as subsidies, preferential tariffs and targets in core markets. Commercialization of utility-scale grid-connected solutions will accelerate after 2017, bringing huge opportunities for companies that have the technological capabilities to compete.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Global Utility Scale, Grid-Connected Battery Energy Storage System Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $0.46 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $8.30 billion in 2024. Lithium-ion batteries are expected to be the leading technology for grid-connected, utility scale systems over the next two to three years.
The global growth in variable renewable energy generation, particularly wind and photovoltaics, has altered regulatory policies relating to renewable energy's interconnection with the grid. This is fueling the demand for grid-modernization through rapid response storage technologies such as battery energy storage systems (BESS).
"Battery storage has the ability to impart flexibility to the grid across a variety of end-use applications," said Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Research Analyst Ross Bruton. "Its greatest advantages are the provision of distributed, variable renewable energy firming and energy time-shift, and rapid short-term electricity balancing for ancillary markets."
Further, the rapid development of associated battery markets for electric/hybrid vehicles, consumer electronics and wearable gadgets has reduced costs and catalyzed technological development as well as manufacturing capacity. In this scenario, battery technology will be one of the most promising distributed storage options for future commercialization.
The market optimism, however, is tempered to some extent by typical early-stage market challenges such as:
- High costs
- Low technology maturity
- Lack of a clear business case and value proposition
- Limited practical application data to support laboratory efficiencies and safety standards
- Inadequate incentives, targets, and supporting policies, and
- Few market consolidations for turnkey solutions
"Overall, attractive pricing, combined with a surge in manufacturing and supportive policies for renewable energy development, will increase the bankability of renewable energy associated storage projects," observed Bruton.