The U.S. solar market is projected to add approximately 3.9 GW of new solar capacity in 2013, according to EuPD Research, and commercialised energy storage solutions will play a pivotal role in ensuring the market's continued growth.
As solar power becomes more and more cost competitive, investors, utilities and power producers are looking to incorporate energy storage into plant design. In the U.S. alone, the grid storage market could reach 4 GW by 2016.
Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission set a procurement target of 50 MW of storage by 2021 for Southern California Edison, one of the state's largest utilities, and is working to set procurement targets across the state as part of the goals of California Assembly Bill 2514.
Additionally, a public-private initiative launched in the United States in March will encourage the development of cheaper, more powerful batteries for energy storage systems and electric vehicles. The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) was started by the Department of Energy and includes major U.S. research universities.
It will receive an award of up to $120 million to develop new technologies, providing further proof that the energy storage market in the United States is expanding rapidly and attracting the attention of investors, government research centers and agencies, and utilities, among others.
Energy Storage - centrepiece of exhibition and conference
Energy storage is a key part of the complete system of solar technologies, and last year Intersolar North America featured special presentations on the topic.
Based on strong demand and positive feedback from 2012 attendees, Intersolar North America organisers say they have expanded their offerings on the topic, and created the Energy Storage special exhibit to highlight the importance of energy storage to the solar market in the United States and beyond. Located on Level 2 in the Moscone West Hall, the segment is specifically reserved for exhibitors showcasing the storage solutions that are attracting the interest of investors, utilities and independent power producers.
Special presentations on energy storage will be held on the PV ENERGY WORLD stage that will address disruptive technologies in the market and business strategies for greater market penetration.
The Fraunhofer Institute, Intersolar's scientific partner, is a primary organiser of these sessions. Additionally, one track at the Intersolar Conference in the InterContinental Hotel will be dedicated to energy storage. Featuring four sessions on Monday, July 8, the energy storage track will cover the latest information on storage applications, technologies, market overviews and policy, and will conclude with an expert panel.
"The increased number of PV systems being integrated into electrical grids requires storage solutions on different time scales to secure the feeding-in of electricity, and to preserve the quality and reliability of the power supply. Furthermore the integration of storage transforms fluctuating power generators like PV into controllable power systems. Fortunately, recent developments, especially in battery technologies, coupled with favorable policies and support schemes, are accelerating widespread adoption," said Dr. Matthias Vetter of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.
"Energy storage plays a crucial role in bringing more renewable energy systems online. Facilitating high-quality exchanges between business leaders and innovators is key to ensuring these solutions are adopted worldwide."
Renewable Energy Focus is proud to be a media partner for Intersolar North America.