Market Trends

Market Outlook

The global energy storage market is continuing to grow exponentially. In 2017, energy storage reached a total installation size of 6 gigawatts, a substantial increase from the 0.34 gigawatts installed in 2012 and 2013. This past year, energy storage grabbed headlines, by providing backup power to major projects like Aliso Canyon in southern California, through partnerships between major solar developers and storage companies, and in the deployment of exciting new technologies, like the world’s largest battery, installed by Tesla in Australia. more

Electric Vehicles

The global electric car stock doubled to 2 million in 2016, from 1 million in 2015, according to The Global EV Outlook, published by OECD and IEA. China leads as the country with the largest electric car stock, with the United States not far behind. According to GTM, the U.S. alone has seen a steady growth in electric vehicle sales over the last year, with a reported 21 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, reaching nearly 200,000 vehicles sold. more


Storage Policy

Last year reinforced the need for resilient distributed energy resources following the power outages of 2017’s devastating hurricane season. The U. S. Senate took action to create incentives for more energy storage deployments and introduced four bills that could advance energy storage, including a separate one to secure a tax credit for energy storage installations.

Many states introduced their own energy storage friendly policies by setting their own installment goals and established renewable energy project incentives. The California state legislature passed SB 338, requiring load-serving entities to consider energy storage in integrated resource plans. more

Storage hardware and software 

Storage systems’ hardware and software have related but different market drivers and technology trends. Lithium-ion remains as the dominant technology, accounting for nearly all batteries deployed in 2016. Flow batteries were a distant second in terms of deployed battery technology, according to a GTM Research poll, but the technology was beginning to prove itself as an innovative technology for utility-scale projects, due to its low prices and 4-hour duration. Get more insight on exciting battery technologies from Jim Greenberger at NAATBatt. more


Solar remains the most favorable renewable energy power source to pair with storage. In a GTM Research poll, solar lead with 71 percent over other technologies, which received less than 14 percent of interest. A number of solar industry project developers have developed or are actively pursuing storage, and several residential solar leaders expanded their storage offerings as well. more

Value Stacking

Value stacking combines revenue streams, and allows batteries to derive value by serving multiple applications. An energy storage system dispatched solely for demand charge reduction is only used for 5 to 50 percent of its useful life, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, but dispatching and re-dispatching batteries for different services promises to improve the economics of energy storage systems.

Energy storage can provide up to 13 services to three distinct groups: 1) customers, 2) utilities, and 3) Independent Service Operators (ISO) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RSO). Behind-the-meter (BTM) energy storage (that is, customer-sited energy storage) is the only kind of energy storage that has the potential to deliver all 13 value streams, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute. more