A vigorous U.S. energy storage market offers good potential for growth over the next five years, according to a study sponsored by the Copper Development Association (CDA) and conducted by KEMA, Inc. The study, Market Evaluation for Energy Storage in the United States. determines the current market for grid energy storage in the U.S. and the associated copper demand in storage applications over the next five years. Thermal-energy storage, pumped-hydro power, compressed-air-energy storage (CAES), and distributed applications constitute most of the energy-storage market. These can support the integration of renewables, such as wind and solar power.
Within the U.S., analysts forecast that $240 billion will be invested in storage-grid applications over the next 10 years. Overall, government support is strong with the Department of Energy Smart Grid Demonstration Grants project investing $772 million. Strong investments from government and venture capitalists, successful demonstration projects, and recent technological advancements have all contributed to strong growth in the storage market.
Market drivers are energy independence and security, smart-grid investments, time of use/peak demand rates, increase in renewables and distributed generation, and government policies, incentives and regulations. Though all sectors of the energy storage market show strong potential, from an application perspective, distributed generation devices, renewable systems, and ancillary services show greatest near-term growth potential. Global opportunity over the next 10 to 20 years is estimated at upwards of 300 GW, which translates into $200 to $600 billion in value.
Newer technologies are growing due to commercial investment and governmental support. Growth in the energy storage market over the next five years is estimated at between 2 to 4 GW with an estimated copper demand of 900 to 3,000 tons.
Copper’s superior conductivity and reliability play a key role in batteries, wiring, and motors used by these devices. Lithium-ion, flow, and sodium batteries as well as flywheels, CAES, and pumped hydropower are users of copper at the unit level. Moreover, certain pieces of electrical equipment and supporting infrastructure—such as transformers, generators, inverters, cooling systems, other motors and wiring—rely on copper for efficient, reliable operation.
“We are excited to see that the results of the study emphasize the growth and development of energy storage in the U.S. and support our belief that copper can play a vital role as a key component of energy storage in coming years,” says Zolaikha Strong, Director of Sustainable Energy at CDA. “In this time of transformation of the electric grid, we encourage policy makers to support the growth of storage technologies because they provide the needed reliability to support to the grid.” The report is available at: http://www.copper.org/about/pressreleases/pdfs/kema_report.pdf
Copper Development Association Inc.
Filed Under: Energy storage, News