The global pipeline for the utility-side-of-meter energy storage has grown to 3.4 gigawatts, representing a doubling over the past year, according to a new report from business information provider IHS Markit.
This rapid increase reinforces the strong growth predicted for the sector in the coming years, says the Energy Storage Intelligence Service by IHS Markit.
A large part of the global 390 MW pipeline uptick came from new project announcements in China and Australia, and for the first time Asia accounts for more than one third of the global pipeline. This underscores the importance that China, Australia, South Korea and India are all predicted to have in the global market.
The pipeline in EMEA grew by a modest 30 MW during the quarter – a significant slowdown compared to Q4 2016 when it increased by over 400 MW, mainly as a result of the projects announced as part of the United Kingdom capacity auction.
In contrast to the strong growth Asia’s pipeline experienced in the first quarter, the pipeline in the Americas reduced as project completions exceeded announcements. This was largely a result of over 100 MW of projects being completed and commissioned in California in early 2017 as part of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric’s response to the Aliso Canyon gas leak. The leak has restricted the availability of gas peaker plants to provide power at peak times.
The latest database also reflects the increasing acceptance of batteries for longer duration applications. Battery energy storage projects are becoming increasingly viable for providing peaking capacity, highlighted by the recent projects completed in California to compensate for the Aliso Canyon gas leak, and the success of batteries in the United Kingdom capacity market.
These market trends signal a divergence in grid-scale battery applications, which have previously been dominated by short-term ancillary services such as frequency regulation. IHS Markit now sees the economics of large-scale batteries making sense for longer-term energy applications as well. The ability of batteries to provide a wide range of applications is critical to the future growth of the market.