Total energy storage capacity worldwide to increase to 12,353 MW in 2021, from 121 MW in 2011, Pike Research forecasts; that equates to just over US$122B of investments during the 10-year period

Graziela Medina Shepnick

Graziela Medina Shepnick

Nov 11, 2011 – Pike Research

BOULDER, Colorado , November 11, 2011 (press release) – Although energy storage solutions such as compressed air and pumped storage have been around for decades, they have not had significant success in the global market when compared to the substantial increase in grid capacity over the past 50 years. Now, however, energy storage on the grid is reaching a turning point. Numerous new technologies – and variations on “old” technologies, such as compressed air and pumped hydro storage – are being demonstrated in countries around the world. To meet the growing opportunity, utilities, grid service providers, and equipment suppliers are all intensifying their efforts in the energy storage arena. According to a recent report from Pike Research, total energy storage capacity worldwide will increase from 121 megawatts (MW) in 2011 to 12,353 MW in 2021 – multiplying 100-fold over a 10-year period.

That equates to just over $122 billion of investment in energy storage projects over the same period.

“Traditionally, grid operators have only had access to generation assets, such as natural gas peakers, to balance electricity flows across the grid by adding power to it,” says research analyst Anissa Dehamna. “Energy storage provides grid operators with an alternative to traditional grid management, offering a variety of technologies that together are well-suited for up to 17 applications of energy storage.”

Factors currently limiting the growth of the energy storage sector include inflexible electricity market structures, high capital costs for energy storage projects, a disconnection between the owners of assets and the entities which benefit from such projects, and instability in the grid – both inherent instabilities and those caused by the integration of new, renewable sources of energy.

Energy storage technologies perform a number of functions that will start to overcome those barriers in the next few years, including the integration of renewables (both solar and wind), arbitrage, peak shifting and load leveling, and the deferral of transmission and distribution upgrades. Pike Research anticipates that integrating renewables will represent approximately half of the total capacity deployed for long duration energy storage, while load leveling/peak shifting will account for 31% of the total market.

Pike Research’s report, “Energy Storage on the Grid”, includes analysis of key market drivers and barriers for the emerging energy storage market, technology issues, and detailed profiles of 12 key countries. The study provides global forecasts for the long duration energy storage market, segmented by region, application, and technology, and measured in revenue and megawatts. The report also identifies the key changes in the energy storage market during the past year and includes analysis on key energy storage projects to date. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit or call +1.303.997.7609.

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