Corvus Energy AT6500 storage module
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Lithium ion battery modules from Corvus Energy claim exceptional performance when used to replace traditional power systems in heavy industrial applications or renewable energy production. Each module can be combined with others to form custom sized packages from 2.5 kWh to multi-megawatt sized applications. (Courtesy Corvus Energy)

The leading technology in the community and residential energy storage (CRES) systems sector in the coming decade will be lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, according to a report by Pike Research, a cleantech market intelligence firm. Corvus Energy, a manufacturer of Li-ion batteries for applications such as solar and wind power, claims these batteries have 4-10x more power and capacity, 1/4 the weight and size, and last 10x as long as traditional lead AGM batteries. The company also says the batteries are maintenance free.

Li-ion is already the leader in terms of utility demonstration projects, and it also enjoys strong levels of commitment among a significant number of vendors active in the energy storage space. Interest in advanced flow battery and advanced lead-acid battery technologies is on the rise, but it remains to be seen whether the greatest inroads for these other technologies will be in grid-tied applications, such as CRES, or in off-grid power applications, such as village power, remote mobile telecommunications, and remote power for energy and mining activities.

According to the report, total worldwide installed capacity for community and residential energy storage systems will reach 780 megawatts by 2022, with an annual market value of $872 million. Pike forecasts cumulative investment in CRES systems over the same period will total $4.2 billion.

Community and residential storage is one of the newest and least understood application areas for energy storage systems, says research analyst Anissa Dehamna. As yet, the market is still in the technical demonstration phase, and for the most part, vendors are still in the process of developing products specifically for community and residential applications. The implication for the CRES market is that purpose-built technologies are not likely to be commercialized in the next two years.

Whether at the distribution transformer or at the customer premise, CRES systems are typically much smaller than utility-scale or bulk energy storage systems. Currently, utilities, vendors, and governments are testing CRES systems for the purposes of smoothing peaks in electricity demand, enabling voltage support and frequency regulation, and providing islanding capabilities. Although the CRES sector is still nascent, market conditions, technology capabilities, and economics are beginning to align in a way that points to significant growth opportunities over the coming decade. The expansion of distributed solar photovoltaics capacity, the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles, and the spread of dynamic pricing programs will all be key drivers in the growth of these distributed energy storage systems.

Pike Research’s report, “Community and Residential Energy Storage,” assesses the market opportunity for battery-based energy storage systems in community and residential deployments. Key applications covered include voltage support, frequency regulation, islanding, and peak shaving using lithium ion, advanced lead-acid, and flow battery technologies. The study includes profiles and SWOT analysis for key industry players as well as global revenue and installed capacity forecasts, segmented by technology and region, for the period from 2012 to 2022. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

 

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