Energy Storage Charges Forward

Energy Storage

Jan 30, 2018

By Heather Clancy

Use it or lose it. Few products in the world have a shorter shelf life than electricity. That’s why pretty much everyone involved in the power sector — from utilities to buyers to start-ups to state regulators — is putting more energy than ever behind ways to extend it.

That’s fuelling a boom in projects and investments centred on advanced battery chemistries and alternative energy storage approaches, such as hydrogen fuel cells and thermal options that use hot water or ice to conserve power. The Holy Grail over time is to create a network of resources that can be used in concert with solar and wind farms. The idea is to balance those intermittent renewable resources, help make it easier to integrate distributed power plants into the grid. 

But energy storage also promises tangible benefits in the short term, especially for demand-response applications that help utilities and businesses manage through “peak” periods when the strain on the electric grid could threaten reliable operations. 

That powerful combination could inspire the deployment of 125 gigawatts in storage capacity worldwide between now and 2030, according to projections — a US$103 billion investment. Notes Bloomberg New Energy Finance Analyst Yayoi Sekine: “The industry has just begun. With so much investment going into battery technology, falling costs and with significant addition of wind and solar capacity in all markets, energy storage will play a crucial role in the energy transformation.” 

You don’t have to be a clean power advocate to appreciate the return on investment. Even U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry is talking up the potential. And an astonishing mix of equipment providers are introducing systems, even big diesel and gas generator companies such as Caterpillar and military contractors such as Lockheed Martin…

Right now, many people tend to equate energy storage with advances in batteries. The battery supporting Tesla’s forthcoming semi-truck, as just one example, will deliver more range at a lower cost than anyone predicted. Millions of dollars are being thrown at start-ups — US$480 million in the first half of 2016 went to companies researching lithium advances, zinc-air innovations and flow science using various electrochemical combinations. The systems they’re testing are meant for both electric vehicles and stationary systems that support buildings or community distribution systems. The Pena Station microgrid in Denver, for example, uses a 1-megawatt system to support the solar resources.

An analysis by Lux Research suggests that lithium-ion will be most cost-effective for applications requiring from 75 kilowatts to 100 megawatts of capacity, with backup ranges of 15 minutes to 8 hours. The capital costs for the technology could fall as much as 36% over the next five years, more quickly than expected, according to research by investment firm Lazard.

Heather Clancy is Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group.

2018 State of Green Business is published by GreenBiz Group in partnership with Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. Download the full report: https://www.greenbiz.com/report/state-green-business-report-2018

Photo source: 2018 State of Green Business

 

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Industrial Projects Lead Non-Residential Construction Intention Gains

    Industrial Projects Lead Non-Residential Construction Intention Gains

    April 22, 2024 Month over month, the total value of building permits in Canada increased 9.3% to $11.8 billion in February. The non-residential sector grew 12.3% to $4.7 billion due to the issuance of several major construction permits, while the residential sector increased 7.4% to $7.1 billion. Ontario (+21.7% to $5.0 billion) led the growth, with gains occurring across all components. On… Read More…

  • Multi-Unit Component Weighs on Investment for February Building Construction Investment

    Multi-Unit Component Weighs on Investment for February Building Construction Investment

    April 22, 2024 Month over month, investment in building construction declined 1.1% to $19.3 billion in February. Investment in the residential sector decreased 1.2% to $13.4 billion, while investment in the non-residential sector fell 0.9% to $6.0 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2017=100), investment in building construction fell 1.2% to $11.9 billion in February, following a flat (+0.0%) movement in the previous… Read More…

  • Shore-Side Electricity and Data Monitoring Take Hold in the Cruise Industry

    Shore-Side Electricity and Data Monitoring Take Hold in the Cruise Industry

    April 15, 2024 On July 7, 2023, the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its participating maritime countries set their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions strategy to achieve net zero “by or around” 2050. As a result, the shipping industry, including cruise lines, is adopting various strategies to achieve this ambitious goal, including new fuels,… Read More…

  • Project Spotlight: Sainte-Thérèse High School Lighting Upgrade

    Project Spotlight: Sainte-Thérèse High School Lighting Upgrade

    Built in 1980, the building that houses Sainte-Thérèse high school, in Quebec Canada, was looking a little worse for the wear. Renovation work began with two major projects: introducing a multidisciplinary sports centre, as well as redesigning the parking lots.  The employee and visitor parking lots were completely reconfigured during phase 1 of the renovation… Read More…


Changing Scene

  • CCA Calls for Meaningful Investment as Housing Takes Centre Stage in Budget 2024

    CCA Calls for Meaningful Investment as Housing Takes Centre Stage in Budget 2024

    April 22, 2024 The federal government’s housing strategy is a long-awaited step forward to build more homes, but significantly more investment is needed to address critical infrastructure needs and the housing crisis, says Canada’s construction industry. The federal government’s plan announced in this Budget, as well as actions taken through the 2023 Fall Economic Statement,… Read More…

  • BCCA Response to Federal Budget 2024

    BCCA Response to Federal Budget 2024

    April 22, 2024 BCCA response to the federal budget announcement: The 2024 Federal Budget falls short on a number of policies required to meet the needs of BC’s construction industry, specifically in terms of workforce solutions and infrastructure. Our concern is that demand stimulated by aggressive housing targets and loan programs will surpass the BC… Read More…

  • Have your Voice Heard…Join in One of CEMRA’s 3 Subcommittee Groups and Make a Difference

    Have your Voice Heard…Join in One of CEMRA’s 3 Subcommittee Groups and Make a Difference

    April 22, 2024 The CEMRA board is looking for CEMRA reps to embark one of the three valuable Board subcommittees. If you are a rep, and would like to get involved and contribute, this is your opportunity. The 3 subcommittee groups include the following projects; If you have any questions, please reach out to the… Read More…

  • AEA RFP for Technical Seminars

    AEA RFP for Technical Seminars

    April 15, 2024 AEA is thrilled to announce that they’ll be hosting a series of sessions in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer. These events promise to be multifaceted, bringing together a diverse array of attendees from the electrical industry. It’s an excellent opportunity for companies to showcase their products, as the sessions will be both… Read More…