The last 12 months have seen considerable progress in energy storage across the United States. California’s world-leading energy storage ambitions, encompassed in the California Public Utilities Commission’s Assembly Bill 2514 (AB 2514) approved in October 2013, are now turning into projects on the ground.
Elsewhere, states ranging from Hawaii to New York to Texas have all started to emerge as potential alternative markets for energy storage technology. But which one? After all, the term ‘energy storage’ covers a wealth of widely differing options.
Batteries, compressed air, pumped hydro, flywheels, and others all work in vastly different ways and have different advantages and disadvantages. The kind of energy storage capability offered by a battery pack is very distinct from that provided by a pumped hydro plant.
When it comes to end users, from residential customers to major utilities, some of these capabilities are bound to have higher value than others.
That is important, because at this stage of the game energy storage in general remains a costly resource, so much so that in many cases it is still to be seen whether it will make sense at all.
Given the early stage of deployment of many of these technologies, it is still too soon to tell which variants and applications will provide greatest value within energy storage.
It is also the case that these technologies and applications may vary depending on the market concerned, on account of differences in factors such as incentives, energy mix, or even geographical characteristics.
Nevertheless, developments over the last year are beginning to provide early pointers on the nature of the more developed markets in the US. While exact figures may still be largely a matter of conjecture, it is now becoming possible to perceive likely trends and possibilities.
This report examines present thinking around these issues, reviewing:
- The current state of major energy storage markets in the US.
- The status of the major technologies being considered for commercialization.
- The applications that are yielding greatest value and encouraging adoption.
Click the link for the US Energy Storage Technology Outlook PDF