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Utility batteries aid renewable energy

Meeting renewable energy targets whilst keeping grid stability has increased the demand for utility-scale battery storage, according to Frost & Sullivan.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

The Frost & Sullivan analysis, European Utility Battery Market, finds that the utility-scale battery market earned revenues of US$126.4 million in 2010 and expects this to increase to US$564.9m in 2015.

The frequent surges, dips and interruptions have made a strong case for utility batteries, particularly in back-up and grid stabilization applications in smart grids, the analyst says.

“The increasing importance as well as need to install and implement micro grids and smart grids stokes demand for utility batteries,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Suba Arunkumar.

“Utility batteries, uniquely, can make it viable to implement smart grids and develop infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.”

Still too expensive?

Lead acid batteries are currently seen as the only affordable chemistries; however, their energy density and performance come up short when compared to other chemistries. However, the efficient chemistries are too expensive for widespread adoption.

Once they refine and expand the scope of their technologies, market participants can make the most of the demand from western European countries that wish to increase power generation through environment-friendly renewable sources. Utilities will need batteries to store the generated energy and feed-in to the grid.

“Furthermore, the sophisticated electronic gadgets and technically advanced lifestyles in these countries hike the demand for electricity,” notes Arunkumar. “Utility batteries cater to this demand by facilitating efficient energy management and enhanced generation.”

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