By Kari Williamson
The energy storage industry saw revenues of over US$1.2bn in 2010, according to the Frost & Sullivan report European Large Scale Energy Storage Market and Opportunities from Growth in Renewable Energy.
The focus on renewable energy combined with increasing energy demand, smart grids and deployment of electric vehicles could all contribute to an increased need for energy storage.
“Targets to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources are encouraging the implementation of large scale energy storage technologies,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Suba Arunkumar.
“Long-term plans to install smart rids and achieve complete automation are possible only if large scale energy storage is implemented, as it will ensure regular power supply from renewable energy sources.”
Arunkumar adds: “Smart energy management systems are also promoting the prospects of energy storage technologies. Smart energy systems include solutions such as demand side management and smart grid solutions that offer reliable, high quality power, while effectively meeting spiralling energy demand. Smart energy management will be difficult to achieve unless efficient energy storage systems are installed.”
Although energy storage solutions are also becoming increasingly environmentally friendly, there are still hurdles to overcome for the industry.
There is a lack of targets for energy storage across Europe, and combined with the technologies relative immaturity and high costs, there is still some way to go for the energy storage industry.
“There needs to be a proper understanding of the importance of large scale energy storage. Government regulations and incentives that promote the use of energy storage will trigger exceptional market growth,” Arunkumar concludes.
Frost & Sullivan looked at pumped hydro, compressed air, hydrogen, battery and molten salt energy storage.