Forget Germany or America. India and China are set to lead growth in worldwide energy storage between now and 2024, a new study says. The Global Energy Storage Forecast, 2016-24, published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), predicts the Asia Pacific region will host a majority of the 45 gigawatts and 81.3 gigawatt-hours of non pumped-hydro storage due to be installed worldwide by 2024. By then, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 53 percent of the world’s total capacity in megawatts. Three Asian countries — Japan, India and China — will be among the world’s top five markets for energy storage.
The top five markets, which also includes the United States and the whole of Europe apart from Germany, Italy and the U.K., will make up 71 percent of all storage installed. Japan, which currently leads the world in terms of gigawatt-hours of storage, will remain the world leader up to 2024, according to BNEF. The Asia-Pacific region also covers Australia and South Korea. Both are becoming important markets, but will lag behind China and India in growth. “Less policy and regulatory support exists in China and India, and the 2016 market size for energy storage is small,” writes Logan Goldie-Scot, the author of the report. “However, rapidly increasing electricity demand and increasing levels of renewable energy penetration help spur energy storage adoption.”
Across Asia-Pacific, there are “very different markets,” said Goldie-Scot, head of energy storage analysis at BNEF. “Japan is an early adopter and was the largest small-scale energy storage market in the world as of 2015. “That’s an already large market continuing to grow. Potentially more interesting are India and China. You’re seeing policy steps, and the drivers are in place for taking these markets from not being noteworthy at the moment to potentially the biggest in 2024.” The annual rate of installations in different markets is due to change substantially in the coming years. This year BNEF expects the U.S. to lead the world in energy storage installations, followed by South Korea.
But while the U.S. is expected to show continued growth going forward, with 1.2 gigawatts of capacity being installed in 2024, South Korea’s deployments are forecast to taper off when the country hits a 500-megawatt frequency regulation target in 2017. Despite an initial proposed target of 1.7 gigawatts of storage in South Korea, BNEF is pessimistic about the prospects for further growth in the market beyond 2017, citing a lack of visible policy support and no real incentive for behind-the-meter installations. Instead, the real energy storage heavyweights in 2024 are expected to be India and China, installing 2.2 gigawatts and 1.8 gigawatts of capacity, respectively. India and China will also lead worldwide installations in terms of gigawatt-hours.
Worldwide, annual installation rates will have risen from just under 2 gigawatt-hours this year to more than 16 gigawatt-hours in 2024. And while the BNEF report does not break down installations by technology, the belief is that the overwhelming bulk of deployments will be of lithium-ion batteries. This is simply a function of the massive lithium-ion production capacity being ramped up to supply the global electric-vehicle market. By 2024, BNEF predicts annual demand for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles will hit 163 gigawatt-hours, or more than 10 times the capacity needed for stationary storage.
As a result, says the analysis firm: “Even if the whole stationary energy storage market in 2024 was lithium-ion, this would make up only 10 percent of annual electric vehicle lithium-ion sales. “Lithium-ion has been the preferred technology to date and was used in 90 percent of utility-scale projects, based on power output, in 2015. We expect it to remain a key technology over this period.” Despite falling costs for lithium-ion, BNEF still expects $44 billion to be invested in storage between now and 2024, with $8.2 billion flowing into the market in the final year of the period. The investment is a small fraction of the $3.9 trillion likely to go into power generation capacity over the same period, however.