- Lithium-ion batteries dominated the makeup of storage projects in 2015, according to new research from Navigant, composing more than half of newly announced energy storage system (ESS) capacity and more than 85% of deployed ESS power capacity.
- The insights come from a new report Navigant developed, providing a database of more than 1,100 projects organized by 11 criteria, including analysis of regional technology choices and market shares.
- North America remains the largest market for new energy storage systems; more than a third of global capacity announced last year came from the region.
A wide range of technologies are being deployed in storage systems around the globe, including advanced battery and electromechanical storage, but lithium-ion remains the top choice.
“Li-ion batteries are the most popular technology for the growing distributed energy storage system (DESS) and behind-the-meter (BTM) market segments,” Alex Eller, research associate with Navigant, said in a statement. “These systems accounted for an estimated 12% of new system capacity announced in 2015, the highest percentage of any year on record.”
There were an estimated 1,653.5 MW of new energy storage systems announced worldwide in 2015, and 33.8% of the new capacity is being developed in North America.
But despite the growth, Navigant said there remain challenges for the storage industry. In PJM Interconnection, Navigant said grid operators put a temporary cap on the amount of fast responding resources providing frequency regulation.
"This market, which has been one of the world’s most active for utilityscale energy storage, is working through issues stemming from a potential over-saturation of fast responding resources," according to the report. "While the future of the market remains unclear, this development highlights the remaining complexity of integrating new resources into existing networks."
Navigant said it excluded from its charts (though not the database) some pumped hydro projects that have been in development for years, allowing the report to have a "greater focus on emerging technologies that not only have a bigger impact on the grid, but also are much more likely to be developed."