Energy storage plays a big role in the evolution of renewable energy and will continue to do so as these energies continue to grow. However, the importance of energy storage has been underestimated for many years. Research analyst Alex Eller at Navigant Research said “We’re only seeing the very beginnings of what the energy storage market is going to look like. Important issues surrounding how energy storage participates in electricity markets [haven’t] even begun to take shape in most places.” (Renewable Energy World). Matt Roberts, executive director of the Energy Storage Association, also commented that storage facilities have shown to be safe, reliable, and cost-effective and are ready to help make major shifts in renewable energy systems.
Global energy storage is expected to boom in 2017 and the market is expected to grow by 47% compared to the already record breaking year in 2016. Analysts expect this surge to continue in the years onward with a compound growth rate of 60% through the year 2020.
Pumped hydropower continues to be the leading source of energy storage and occupies about 96% of the current market share. Although, a growing number of alternative solutions are being tried, tested, and installed in commercial settings while even more are in the blueprint and various levels of research stages. Lithium-ion variety battery storage and microgrids for pv storage are expected to become big players in the market in the next years and take away some of this market share from hyrdopower.
Declining costs in renewable energy are creating more production and more research in these fields. With the growing number of solutions being created and implemented all over the world, the need to store these energies for later consumption/use becomes inherent. The benefits for countries, regions, states, and even individuals are endless when storage of natural energy becomes prevalent. It is great to see researchers and analysts working so hard to make such a great contribution to society come to fruition.