U.S. grid-connected energy storage capacity this year is set for a twofold increase to 712 MW from 376 MW last year. What’s more, between 2019 and 2024, storage capacity will soar to almost 5 GW, of which 90 percent will be battery storage, IHS Markit said in a new report.
This will make the United States the country with the most energy storage capacity connected to the grid, ahead of the current global leader in this area, South Korea. According to the market research company, there are several factors that will drive this development, and these include the falling costs of battery storage components and the solar investment tax credit introduced in 2006. As for the falling costs, they are part of a larger trend in the renewable energy industry as developers of wind and solar installations continue to boost their efficiency and costs of materials decline despite the U.S.-China trade war many expected to have a devastating effect on solar in particular.
In fact, in some cases, solar and wind plus storage is cost-competitive with traditional peaker plants that use fossil fuels to provide backup power when needed. This week the U.S. News & World Report wrote about Southern California Edison’s decision to scrap its plans for a new 262-MW peaker plant in favor of a 195-MW battery array that will store energy produced by solar and wind farms.