As data drifts in, 2018 is shaping up to have been a record-breaking year for battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit senior analyst Julian Jansen. Especially for front-of-the-meter projects, which experienced rapid growth. This growth was led by significant activity in South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and China, which together accounted for 78% of battery energy storage projects commissioned in 2018, according to the Q4 2018 edition of the IHS Markit “Energy Storage Company and Project Database.”
The overall stationary battery energy storage market has had a strong year of development, illustrated by 83% more completed projects than in 2017. Project delays in 2017 meant more than 850 MW was completed in Q1 2018 – a strong start to the year. Project activity slowed in the second quarter, before rebounding in the third quarter, with almost 800 MW commissioned. The lowest number of projects were completed in the fourth quarter, owing to the traditionally slow winter and Christmas period.
There is a positive future for battery energy storage, as the project pipeline continues to grow, reaching 15.2 GW at the start of 2019, which is half the size of the pipeline for new pumped hydro energy storage (PHES). Asia Pacific has the strongest pipeline, but it includes some speculative projects that – were they to be completed – would dwarf the current world’s largest single-site energy storage projects.
With the U.S. market poised for exponential growth in 2019, the Americas already have a project pipeline of over
4.3 GW. As policy frameworks advance across the United States, IHS Markit already tracks project activity in 39 states, which have operational energy storage systems, with an additional five states with projects planned or under construction.
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