On a fundamental level, electric grids require balance to function properly. Energy storage technologies are emerging as a means of providing grid operators with an alternative to traditional grid management. Key applications for long-duration energy storage include counterbalancing the intermittency of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, leveling the loads and time-shifting periods of peak demand on the grid, and avoiding or delaying the construction of costly transmission and distribution (T&D) assets, among others. According to a new report from Pike Research, these applications will drive a total worldwide investment of just over $122 billion in energy storage projects during the period between 2011 and 2021.

“Energy storage on the grid is reaching a turning point,” said research analyst Anissa Dehamna. “Currently, a number of new technologies – and variations on ‘old’ technologies such as compressed air and pumped storage – are being demonstrated in countries around the world. The market is ripe with opportunity and utilities, grid service providers, and equipment suppliers are all intensifying their efforts in the energy storage arena.”

Dehamna added that for the long duration segment of the energy storage market, pumped hydro storage and advanced flow batteries will represent the largest portions of the total revenue opportunity during the next decade. Advanced lithium ion batteries, sodium sulfur (NaS) batteries, and compressed air energy storage (CAES) are other key technologies that will be utilized for bulk storage applications during the forecast period.

Pike Research anticipates that among the various application segments in this market, the integration of renewable energy – primarily wind power – will represent approximately 50% of the total capacity deployed for long duration energy storage. The firm forecasts that load leveling/peak shifting will represent 31% of the total market, followed by arbitrage (12%) and T&D upgrade deferral (7%).

Pike Research’s report, Energy Storage on the Grid, includes analysis of key market drivers and barriers for the emerging energy storage market, technology issues, and detailed profiles of 12 key countries. The study provides global forecasts for the long duration energy storage market, segmented by region, application, and technology, and measured in revenue and megawatts. The report also identifies the key changes in the energy storage market during the past year and includes analysis on key energy storage projects to date.