A slew of factors have resulted in the global energy storage pipeline increasing by 45% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to new figures published by IHS.
According to analytics company IHS, battery cost reductions, government funding programs, and utility tenders all contributed to a 45% increase in the global energy storage pipeline in Q4’15, with the pipeline of planned battery projects and flywheel projects reaching 1.6 GW.
“Continued battery cost reduction, government funding programs and utility tenders have helped spark a notable acceleration in the global energy storage market, and IHS recorded an increase of nearly 400 megawatts in the global pipeline during the final quarter of 2015,” said Marianne Boust, principal analyst for IHS Technology. “Suppliers and developers around the world are preparing for a record year in 2016, with significant growth projected in a wide range of regions and market segments.”
With several large-scale projects being announced towards the end of 2015, IHS has concluded that the energy storage industry is now “shifting from research-and-development demonstration projects to commercially viable projects.” Included in these large-scale projects was a 90 MW order placed by STEAG to be built in Germany, and 75 MW worth of contracts awarded to American PG&E.
These projects compare favorably to the more common type of project announcement we have seen over the last few years, which more often than not have dealt in kW’s rather than MW’s. Many experts believe that energy storage will be an integral component of the shift towards renewable energy integration into our electricity grids, and IHS’s numbers seem to suggest we are on our way towards commercial operation of larger and more robust energy storage systems.