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Global Distributed Energy Storage Capacity Expected to Increase Nearly 10-Fold

The worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems is expected to increase nearly 10-fold over the next 3 years, according to a new report from Navigant Research, which analyzed the global market for distributed energy storage systems through 2024.

The primary conclusion of the report is that distributed storage is one of the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally, thanks to the focus of rapid innovation and intense competition, causing the market to greatly exceed market expectations. This growth and subsequent demand has led to grid operators, utilities, and governments looking to encourage storage installations that are physically situated closer to the retail electrical customer.

According to the report from Navigant Research, worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) is expected to grow from its current 276 MW, to nearly 2,400 MW in 2018.

“Distributed storage is among the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally,” says Anissa Dehamna, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In particular, residential and commercial energy storage are expected to be the focus of technological advances and market activity in the coming years.”

Installed DESS Power Capacity by Application, World Markets: 2014-2024 

Navigant-9

Two specific types of DESS are classified in the report: Community energy storage refers to systems installed at the distribution transformer level; Residential and commercial storage, on the other hand, refer to “two behind-the-meter applications targeted at either homeowners or commercial and industrial customers.” Together, these two technologies include lithium ion (Li-ion), flow batteries, advanced lead-acid, and other next-generation chemistries, such as sodium metal halide, ultracapacitors, and aqueous hybrid ion.

Similarly, the two categories of DESS each have specific market drivers. Community energy storage is being driven by the improved reliability yielded in case of outages, load leveling and peak shifting, and improved power quality. Almost as importantly, community energy storage systems can communicate with a grid operator’s operating system, allowing the operator to mitigate disruptions to the grid.

Given its primary use as an energy cost management solution, the prime driver behind commercial storage systems is the rate structure for customers.


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