Which are the world’s biggest energy storage markets? Here’s the Top Five

BY BEN COOK:

 

The use of energy storage all around the world will skyrocket in the coming years.

To give you an indication of this growth, consider that in 2018, just three years ago, there was 9GW/17GWh deployed around the world. By 2040, it is anticipated that this will have soared to 1,095GW/2,850GWh.

As you can see, we need to brace ourselves for astronomical growth in this market.

But which markets have led the charge up to now? Energy Storage Report gives you its run-down of the five biggest energy storage markets in the world by installed capacity. We also assess the outlook for growth in each market.

 

  1. China

Approximate installed energy storage capacity: 33.1GW

Outlook: It is projected that, by 2040, cumulative installed energy capacity in China will have reached around 200GW.  While the vast majority of current capacity consists of pumped hydro (91.6%), this ratio will fall – electrochemical battery storage is growing in popularity and now represents 6.8% of the total. China wants to drive the proliferation of vanadium flow battery projects, partly because the country has plentiful vanadium resources – vanadium is the metal used in batteries electrolyte, and it constitutes a major part of production costs, up to around 40 per cent. Dr. Mianyan Huang, CEO of energy storage business VRB Energy, said last month that China and, specifically, Hubei Province had a “unique opportunity for scale-up of the vanadium flow battery industry, and we applaud the government’s plans to support development of a US$14 billion world-leading vanadium energy storage industry cluster.”

 

  1. Japan

Approximate installed energy storage capacity: 28.5GW

Outlook: The significant potential of energy storage in Japan was recently highlighted with news that Japanese telecoms giant NTT, which uses 1% of the electricity consumed in Japan, is considering installing batteries at its 7,300 telecom service buildings across the country so it can store electricity produced from local wind and solar sources. By 2030, NTT plans to become capable of providing renewable energy-based electricity on a scale similar to that offered by major electric power companies, supplying businesses and local governments. The potential for growth of energy storage in the country is huge – the use of batteries for ancillary services and flexibility is extremely rare at present in Japan.

 

  1. US

Approximate installed energy storage capacity: 23.2GW

Outlook: The US will be one of the fastest growing energy storage markets in the coming years. It is expected to soon overtake Japan and become the second largest energy storage market in the world behind China. By 2040, it is estimated that the US will have nearly 200GW of installed energy capacity, around nine times its current size. The US Energy Storage Association’s CEO Jason Burwen said last week that President Biden’s American Jobs Plan “has the policies needed to achieve our goal of 100 GW of new energy storage by 2030”.

 

  1. Spain

Approximate installed energy storage capacity: 8.3GW

Outlook: Europe’s biggest energy storage market has ambitious expansion plans. Earlier this year, the Spanish government approved an energy storage strategy that, it claims, will put it at the forefront of the continent’s storage revolution. The strategy envisages upping storage capacity to 20GW by 2030 and to 30GW by 2050.

 

  1. Germany

Approximate installed energy storage capacity: 7.6GW

Outlook: The German energy storage market is expected to undergo dramatic expansion in the next 20 years, with some projections putting the total cumulative capacity at around 70GW by 2040. Coal-fired power stations in Germany are scheduled to be closed down by 2038, at the latest, and this means demand for energy storage is set to soar with 42 per cent of Germany’s current electricity generation coming from renewable sources. The battery storage systems market has undergone significant expansion in recent years – sales of stationary battery storage systems surpassed pumped hydro storage for the first time in 2018.

 

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