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Lithium ion batteries and other energy storage solutions are positioned to gain considerably over the next few years. While much of the growth in the energy storage industry is expected to come in areas like the automotive industry and consumer electronics, there is also considerable potential for expansion in stationary applications. A recent Lux Research study predicted that the energy storage sector as a whole will expand to reach annual revenues of $50 billion in 2020.
The rising energy storage market
Energy storage systems for stationary applications, such as to support solar panel deployments, are among the key areas in which the industry is expanding. The study found that the current value of the residential solar market is approximately $0.1 billion. By 2020, that figure is set to rise to $1.2 billion. Residential energy storage systems are not the only segment growing. Storage solution deployment in uninterruptable power supply systems and backup settings are the next largest stationary market, rising to $0.7 billion by 2020.
Grid-scale energy storage solution deployment will also expand moving forward. The study found that the rise of renewables use in utility settings will lead to increased energy storage deployments with revenues reaching $0.3 billion by 2020. Current moves toward increased energy storage use in stationary applications in both Germany and the United States are setting a precedent for future projects in the sector.
Looking at energy storage with a wider lens
Cosmin Laslau, research analyst for Lux, explained that developments in the automotive and consumer electronics sectors are helping to fuel growth in smaller segments like stationary applications.
"The automotive market is well on its way to displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage," said Laslau. "As that happens, it will lead to further scale and a new round of cost reductions, which will impact stationary applications as well."
Getting ahead of the curve
The market expansion in the residential stationary applications sector is a key indication that consumers are working to take more control over their power consumption capabilities. However, energy companies have the potential to get ahead of consumer demands by using energy storage to improve reliability, efficiency and responsiveness in the grid. At the same time, such strategies can reduce costs, giving utility providers the edge they need to maintain their revenue streams as consumers turn to distributed generation models.