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Published on March 14th, 2015 | by Sandy Dechert


The Top 10 Energy Storage Countries Are…

March 14th, 2015 by  

Top 10 countries by energy storage capacity (bbc.com/news/business) As renewable technologies begin to mature, more and more attention is focusing on energy storage, which has tremendous implications for the current makeup and economics of energy grids. BBC published a chart at the beginning of March that listed the top 10 nations of the world in terms of energy storage capacity. It includes number of projects and storage capacity and cites both operating storage facilities and those under construction. The results are on the right. ⇒

The US Department of Energy’s Global Energy Storage Database provided the information used in the BBC’s chart. The DOE’s website lists 599 projects with 3.55 gigawatts (GW) of storage capacity in all. It shows data in map, graph, and tabular form, with both interactivity and the capability to export selected data to user databases. Here are the top 10 energy storage countries on a basic world map:

World's top 10 nations in terms of  power storage (US DOE)

Below, CleanTechnica gives you some snapshots of other important statistics.

Power Storage Capacity

China, Japan, and the US are way ahead of the other top nations.

     China: 34,000 kW in 98 facilities,
     Japan: 29,000 kW in 84 facilities, and
     US: 29,000 kW in 528 facilities.

The other seven countries can each store fewer than 10,000 kW.

Numbers of Projects

The US is far in the lead here, with about 400, versus less than 100 apiece for the other competitors. It also has more large storage facilities (77 greater than 10,000 kW) than any other nation.

Types of Energy Storage

In terms of the types of energy storage, 5 different sources were tracked. Overall, the DOE shows technology type, number of projects, and rated power like this:

Five Electric Storage Technologies: Projects and Rated Power (US DOE)

The following bar chart shows types of storage used globally over time:

Global energy storage by type, over time (US DOE)

In general, electrochemical and thermal sources made up the original group. Electromechanical sources dominated from 1978–2012, but their share of the pie has diminished. Electrochemical (think batteries) has grown rapidly since the turn of the millennium. Thermal storage has grown about twice as fast since 2006, overtaking electromechanical in 2013.

Here’s what the power storage types look like on a national basis.

Top 10 Electrochemical Storage Nations (US DOE) Top 10 Pumped Hydro Storage Nations (US DOE) Top 10 Thermal Storage Nations (US DOE) Top 10 Electromechanical   Storage Nations (US DOE) Top 10 Hydroelectric Storage Nations (US DOE) 

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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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