MECHANICAL ENERGY STORAGE: A MARKET OVERVIEW

As utility-scale solar technology maintains and gains popularity, utility asset owners are now looking to store energy to smooth peak demand curves and provide back-up power, highlights report

Mechanical Energy Storage Market Overview Pg 17
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– Presented to you by the – Electrical India Content Team

A report presented by the Prescient and Strategic (P&S) Intelligence observed that the global mechanical energy storage market is the utility application of energy storage and associated grid technologies. As utility-scale solar technology maintains and gains popularity, utility asset owners are now looking to store energy to smooth peak demand curves and provide back-up power. Further, as per the World Energy Council report in January 2016, a significant drop will be observed in the costs of majority of energy storage technologies during 2015–2030. This will also pave the way for high adoption of mechanical energy storage solutions in the utility sector.

Mechanical energy storage systems take advantage of kinetic and gravitational forces to store inputted energy. While the physics of mechanical systems are often quite simple (e.g. spin a flywheel or lift weights up a hill), the technologies that enable the efficient and effective use of these forces are particularly advanced. High-tech materials, cutting-edge computer control systems, and innovative design make these systems feasible in real-world applications. Pumped hydro, compressed air, and flywheel energy storage techniques are the best known. The mechanical energy storage market is segmented based on type, application, and region.

The mechanical energy storage market is categorized into PHS, CAES, and FES, based on type. Among these, the PHS category holds the largest share in the market, as PHS technology is well established, while other megawatt-scale technologies are being developed. For instance, as per the World Energy Council, more than 95% of global energy storage is met by PHS technology and for years, it has offered a cost-effective way to provide large-scale storage solution and support grid balancing services. The mechanical energy storage market is categorized into residential, commercial, industrial, and utility, on the basis of application. Among these, the utility application constitutes a wide application area of mechanical energy storage systems, holding a significant share in the market. This is due to a large number of services required by utility projects, such as bulk energy services, ancillary services, grid support services, and renewable energy integration to reduce the network congestion during peak hours, which have helped extend the life of assets and improve the systems’ resilience, and as a result increase system energy generation efficiency, which will boost the demand for energy storage systems.

Geographically, APAC accounts for substantial share in the mechanical energy storage market, on account of government investment in energy storage solutions, mainly in economies like China and India. For instance, the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) estimates that the market for energy storage will grow to over 300 GWh in 2025 and will need an investment of $3 billion. Whereas, North America also plays a vital role in the growth of the market, owing to the increasing demand for electricity storage systems. For instance, as per the environmental and energy study institute, the U.S. generated 4 billion megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, but only had 431 MWh of electricity storage available in 2017.

Mechanical Energy Storage Market Dynamics

Drivers

The energy installation cost per kilo watt hour (kWh) of mechanical energy storage systems is low relatively to other types of energy storage method. For instance, installation costs of PHS and CAES types of mechanical energy storage are $21/kWh and $53/kWh, respectively; whereas, other types of energy storage cost in the range of $100–$1000/kWh. Further, rising concern about environmental impacts of fossil fuels is also driving the mechanical energy storage market growth. For instance, the International Energy Association (IEA) estimated that, in order to keep global warming below 2°C, the world is expected to require 266 GW of energy storage by 2030, up from 176.5 GW in 2017.

Restraints

To some extent, the growth of the mechanical energy storage market is being hindered by the availability of substitutes of energy storage systems, such as Li-ion battery, lead-acid battery, and molten salt energy storage, as these systems have higher efficiency. Further, continuous development in Li-ion battery technology may also hinder the market growth.

Mechanical Energy Storage Market Competitive Landscape

Some of the major companies operating in the global mechanical energy storage market, are: Siemens AG, Hydrostor Inc., Apex Compressed Air Energy Storage LLC, Ridge Energy Storage and Grid Services LP, LightSail Energy, SustainX Inc., Airlight Energy, Storelectric Ltd., Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Magnum Development LLC., ABB Group, Beacon Power LLC, STORNETIC GmbH, VYCON Inc., Active Power Inc., Rotonix USA Inc., POWERTHRU, Teraloop, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited, Amber Kinetics Inc., Voith GmbH, Sulzer Ltd., and Hitachi Ltd.

Information and report courtesy: Prescient and Strategic Intelligence

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