May 18, 2024

Rise of Stationary Energy Storage

The world is transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar and wind at a rapid pace. These renewable resources have variability and intermittency issues which need to be addressed for their widespread adoption. Stationary energy storage is emerging as a key technology to overcome these challenges and strengthen the electric grid

Need for Energy Storage

A major problem with solar and wind energy is that their production does not always match the energy demand. Solar panels generate maximuma power during the day while demand peaks in the evening. Similarly, wind turbines generate intermittent power depending on wind conditions. This mismatch between renewable energy production and demand requires some form of energy storage. Batteries and other stationary storage technologies help store excess renewable energy when production is high and feed it back to the grid when demand is higher than supply. This makes renewable energy generation dispatchable and firm.

Without energy storage to time-shift energy production, solar and wind power cannot replace conventional power plants which can produce energy on demand. Energy storage helps in peak shaving by reducing overproduction from renewables. It also enhances grid flexibility, resilience and stability. As the renewable energy capacity continues to increase globally, stationary energy storage is expected to grow rapidly to ensure grid reliability with high shares of variable renewable energy sources.

Applications of Stationary Storage

Stationary energy storage has applications across generation, transmission and distribution as well as behind-the-meter use cases:

– Renewable Energy Integration: As discussed earlier, stationary batteries help integrate higher levels of solar and wind power by storing surplus renewable energy and feeding it back when renewable production drops.

– Transmission Infrastructure: Large grid-scale batteries can provide transmission grid services like flexibility, congestion relief and deferment of transmission upgrades in fast growing renewable energy regions.

– Distribution Infrastructure: Distribution-level batteries offer benefits like power quality, outage mitigation, peak shaving, voltage regulation and integration of electric vehicles (EVs). They reduce grid upgrade costs.

– Demand Response: By enhancing demand response capabilities, stationary storage allows commercial and industrial customers to better manage their energy consumption and bills by shifting load away from peak periods.

– Microgrids: Off-grid and remote communities can integrate renewables and energy storage in microgrids to achieve reliability and energy independence. Microgrids also offer emergency power.

– Behind-the-Meter: Commercial, industrial as well as residential customers are increasingly installing behind-the-meter batteries to store solar power, save on bills and gain back-up power and energy independence during outages.

Technologies and Market Growth

There are various technologies being used for stationary energy storage including lithium-ion, Lead-acid, Sodium Sulphur (NaS), Sodium-ion, Zinc-ion, hydrogen fuel cells and flow batteries. Among these, Lithium-ion is currently the dominant chemistry accounting for over 50% of global stationary storage deployments due to its maturing technology, declining costs and performance advantages over alternatives. However, other technologies like flow batteries are gaining momentum for large grid-scale projects due to their modular design and longer duration.

The global stationary energy storage market size was estimated at $2.50 billion in 2021 according to a recent report. The market is expected to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 28% through 2030, reaching around $26 billion by the end of this decade. Asia Pacific is forecasted to dominate future installations led by China, while the US and Europe will remain other major regions. Declining battery costs, newer projects in the pipeline and policy support are expected to drive exponential market growth for stationary storage solutions going forward.

Future Prospects and Conclusion

Analysts believe energy storage is fast becoming a third pillar of the future energy system along with renewables and electrification of transport. Significant investment is pouring into new stationary storage applications, technologies and business models. New categories beyond lithium-ion like sulfur flow batteries, zinc hybrids and low-cost alternatives are under development across companies and research institutions. With a focus on recycling, sustainability and new materials, stationary storage costs could see further declines in the coming years.

Policymakers around the world are increasingly supporting stationary energy storage through incentive programs to accelerate clean energy transition. Global agreements to limit emissions will raise the stakes for energy storage deployment this decade. Wider adoption of smart grid infrastructure, falling rooftop solar prices, rising EV adoption and distributed renewable energy programs point towards an exponential rise in distributed behind-the-meter storage demand as well. Overall, stationary energy storage is poised to play a pivotal role in transforming global energy systems with new investment, innovation and policy enablers coming together to support its growing prominence.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it