Market Trends

Market Outlook

The outlook for the growth of the energy storage industry is very strong, much like the outlook for the solar industry. And while the two industries are distinct, the historical growth patterns of the two industries are quite similar. In the past ten years, solar had a compound annual growth rate of more than 60 percent. The energy storage market has also undergone substantial growth; 83 MW of storage were installed in 2012. By 2021 GTM Research predicts more than 2 GW will be installed annually.  more

Market Session

Storage Policy

In 2017, the new presidential administration ushers in what could be a new era for energy storage, according to GTM Research. This year will be a critical one for energy policy and market changes, at both the national and regional level. On the national level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which introduced suggestions of broad wholesale market changes intended to improve participation in energy storage across the country. And the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) released an updated version of its ratemaking manual for distributed energy resources, which is expected to impact energy storage deployment throughout the United States.  more

Storage hardware and software 

Storage systems’ hardware and software have related but different market drivers and trends. In terms of hardware trends, lithium-ion batteries are the current market leader, with 98.4 percent market share in Q4 2016, according to GTM Research. This dominance is largely due to recent rapid declines in lithium-ion battery prices. Lithium-ion is expected to remain the hardware market leader in 2017 because of the large number of large-scale contracts awarded last year to lithium-ion-centered energy storage businesses. The lead-acid battery was lithium-ion’s runner up, with 1.6 percent of the market. According to the ESA, the list of entities that store energy include: solid state batteries, flow batteries, flywheels, compressed air energy storage, thermal, and pumped hydro-power. more


The value of solar PV systems can be improved dramatically by the addition of storage systems. In fact, the market value of solar-plus-storage systems is expected to reach more than $1 billion by 2018, according to GTM Research. This trend is supported by the continued adoption of solar-plus-storage by customers on the residential, utility and commercial and industrial (C&I) sides. 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

The Rocky Mountain Institute has measured “value stacking” and found that 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.  more