Energy Storage Reaches New Heights

by Anna Gretz
September 25, 2019
Home Battery

Energy storage has quickly matured into a thriving, competitive market.

Home batteries offer an energy storage solution to anyone who wants to protect their power. But now that batteries are cheaper and software is better, the choice to store solar is more economically viable than ever.

Just five years ago, those diving into energy storage ownership were motivated by control over their own power, and cutting ties with the electrical grid. Though this still serves as a legitimate motivating force, customers are also drawn into home batteries because of the clear financial advantage.

The numbers don't lie. Last year, new energy storage installations grew by 147% (according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables). This means that the batteries deployed in the past year add up to more than half of all of the deployments that took place in the 5 years preceding it (from 2013 to 2018.) The demand for energy storage is on the rise, and has reached exponential growth.

The United States currently has the world's largest fleet of batteries.

With an official capacity of 61.8 megawatts of power, the US leads the world in energy storage deployments.

But though Americans have focused on front-of-meter storage, other countries are developing energy storage arsenals of their own. Germany has pulled ahead of the US in behind-the-meter storage, and the United Kingdom follows with a high level of residential battery installations.

Australia boasts the world's biggest battery system with their 129-megawatt-hour Hornsdale Power Reserve, though the United States is chasing that title as well, with a 300-megawatt Vistra Energy system charted for completion in 2020.

Like we said, the demand for battery storage is strong, and getting stronger.

And in response to demand, battery storage prices are falling faster than expected. This price drop is making batteries even greater competition for traditional natural-gas-powered energy.

"Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal and gas-fired generation for the procision of 'dispatchable power' that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance