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Energy storage technologies capitalise on renewables

1st February 2013


All Western European countries have targets aimed at boosting the contribution of renewable energy. Such high use of renewable energy is possible through efficient energy storage methods, creating huge opportunities for market growth.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Large Scale Energy Storage Market and Opportunities from Growth in Renewable Energy, finds that the market earned revenues of $1,249.1 million in 2010 and estimates this to almost double by 2017 reaching $2 billion. The following technologies are covered in the research: pumped hydro energy storage, compressed air energy storage, hydrogen energy storage, battery energy storage and molten salt energy storage.

The escalating demand for energy, paralleled by technological advancements such as smart grids, widespread electric vehicles use and the more widespread deployment of renewable energy, are underlining the importance of large scale energy storage technologies.
 
“Targets to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources are encouraging the implementation of large scale energy storage technologies,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Suba Arunkumar. “Long-term plans to install smart grids and achieve complete automation are possible only if large scale energy storage is implemented, as it will ensure regular power supply from renewable energy sources.”

Europe has aimed at increasing the contribution of renewable energy to the energy generation mix. Effective energy storage systems could make this goal achievable, while concomitantly reducing the need to deploy new utilities. As most of the energy storage technologies are environment-friendly, renewable energy could be effectively stored without environmental hazards for a time frame ranging from a few seconds to several months.

“Smart energy management systems are also promoting the prospects of energy storage technologies,” adds Arunkumar. “Smart energy systems include solutions such as demand side management and smart grid solutions that offer reliable, high quality power, while effectively meeting spiraling energy demand. Smart energy management will be difficult to achieve unless efficient energy storage systems are installed.”
 
The lack of specific targets for implementing large scale energy storage is, however, dampening the market’s outlook. Heavy capital investments, coupled with the absence of specific targets and standardised equipment, are projected to slow down market growth.

Most energy storage technologies are in a nascent phase and still relatively expensive. Moreover, they are yet to prove their reliability and performance, resulting in the market experiencing slow growth, despite their myriad benefits.
 
“There needs to be a proper understanding of the importance of large scale energy storage,” concludes Arunkumar. “Government regulations and incentives that promote the use of energy storage will trigger exceptional market growth.”

For more information, www.powersupplies.frost.com









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