The market for grid-scale energy storage is growing as rapidly as many people had predicted but not necessarily in the places they predicted.
The global pipeline for utility-side-of-meter energy storage has doubled in size over the past year, according to a new analysis from IHS Markit’s Energy Storage Intelligence Service. In the first quarter of 2017, the global pipeline added about 390 megawatts in energy storage, bringing the total pipeline up to a whopping 3.4 gigawatts.
The geographic breakdown is somewhat surprising. New energy storage projects in Asia account for more than one third of global pipeline. China and Australia are especially hot spots in the battery market. By contrast, energy storage projects in Europe and North America appear to have actually slowed down – and in the latter instance actually fallen over the past year.
According to IHS Markit, the negative pipeline growth reported for the Americas resulted from the completion of a large number of projects in California in early 2017 as part of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric’s response to the Aliso Canyon gas leak.
While the dip may be temporary in North America, it suggests that the exponential growth widely predicted for grid-connected utility-scale battery storage may materialize later rather than sooner in some markets.
In 2015, Frost & Sullivan forecasted that the market for grid-connected utility-scale battery storage would reach $8.3 billion by 2024 up from $0.46 billion in 2014.
Meanwhile, the type of projects in the pipeline is becoming more diverse as grid operators and utilities are increasingly using batteries for longer duration applications.
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