Smart Grid

December 17, 2012

Energy Storage One of the Fastest Growing Opportunities in the Smart Grid Industry: NanoMarkets

NanoMarkets, an industry analyst that tracks and analyzes emerging markets in advanced materials, recently published a new report titled "Batteries and Supercapacitors for the Smart Grid-2013," which indicates that the grid-storage market will reach $6.1 billion by 2018, making energy storage one of the fastest growing opportunities in the smart grid industry.  

The report provides analysis of worldwide grid-storage markets products, including lead-acid, lead-carbon, lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, sodium-nickel-chloride and flow batteries, along with ultrabatteries and supercapacitors. 

The piece also covers retail, wholesale and microgrid opportunities, along with how frequency regulation, regenerative energy capture and renewable power integration will affect demand for grid storage. 

Eight-year revenue and volume projections are included with breakouts by application, storage technology, and geographical region.

NanoMarkets believes the default option for grid batteries today is lead-acid, accounting for more than 55 percent of revenue from grid batteries currently. By 2018, this share will decline to around 30 percent as new grid battery technologies become commercialized, according to the report.

Nano’s report emphasized that in 2018, lead-carbon batteries/ultrabatteries will generate around $300 million in revenue.

Nano’s analyst regarded the demand for lead-acid and Zebra batteries as well, in that  another wave of storage deployment is set to occur on the customer side of the meter for power-quality, peak-shaving and grid-stability applications.

This should create significant demand for flow and lithium-ion batteries. 

Although lithium-ion batteries are receiving considerable attention, it’s immature and high in cost, and its current growth apparently relies on government subsidies. In spite of this, the best hope for lithium batteries can come when a supplier who is committed to lithium sells it as part of a comprehensive solution such as for smart buildings. 

Under this circumstance, revenue from lithium batteries is noted to reach $775 million by 2018.

Nano’s report also emphasized that supercapacitors can become integral to grid storage, as costs go down and capacities increase. By 2018, according to the report, supercaps will generate $1.1 billion in revenue from grid-storage. 

In related news, despite regulatory uncertainty, a highly-fragmented global market and risk-averse client base, the demand for energy storage on the grid will zoom to $113.5 billion in 2017, from a $2.8-billion market in 2012 – reaching 185.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of capacity from 3.2 GWh.

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Edited by Braden Becker