ENERGY STORAGE Energy Storage 2023 - Status quo and future trends
Energy storage is one of the critical factors towards a cleaner and greener future. While non-renewable energy powers most of the world, energy storage is a growing form of sustainable energy. The article starts to explain the importance of energy storage systems in brief and goes on to state the current scenario with accurate statistics for 2023. It also explains future trends like the introduction of new battery technologies, hybrid storage systems, and decentralized microgrids.
What is energy storage?
Energy storage is the process of storing energy in a device known as an ESS (energy storage system) for future utilization. Such storage is limited to a certain quantity and guarantees usage for a calculative timeline. Once stored energy is utilized in full, the storage device starts to store the energy again for another use. The capacity of storage depends upon the type and application of ESS.
Status quo for energy storage systems in 2023
Storing energy is important because non-renewable energy sources may run out in the near future. According to a report by an energy company, oil supply will last up to 2072, natural gas up to 2074, and coal up to 2135. However, various reports predict that most non-renewable energy resources may run out before or during the first half of the next century i.e. 2100.
On the other hand, the stored energy is a sustainable form of energy that fits well in the concept of “demand and supply of energy”. It is because stored energy can be utilized repeatedly without the danger of eventually running out of resources. The ever-growing sector of electric vehicles with the associated batteries and charging technologies is among the reasons for growing demand.
The global energy storage market size is expected to grow from USD210.92 billion in 2021 to USD435.4 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 8.4 %. The Asia Pacific region with China, Japan, South Korea, and many other countries are the top contributors to global energy storage systems. North America and Europe stand at 26 % and 20 % respectively.
The technologies topping energy storage systems include:
- Pumped hydro storage.
- Electrochemical battery storage: Lithium-ion, sodium-ion, and many more.
- Electromechanical: Compressed air and flywheel energy storage.
- Thermal energy storage.
Out of all the energy storage technologies, the pumped hydro storage sector accounts for 95.4 % of the market share. However, electrochemical storage technologies are expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.2 % from 2023 onwards.
In 2020, the battery storage power capacity worldwide accounted for 3 GW and is expected to hit the milestone of 778 GW by 2050.
A capacitor (supercapacitor or ultracapacitor) is a stand-alone device used extensively in consumer electronics and IoT systems. The global capacitor market is expected to witness a slow growth from USD 61.83 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 5.96 %.
Non-residential energy storage systems account for 73 % of the market share compared to 27 % of residential deployments.
The reason is the growing transportation sector including electric vehicles.
The International Energy Agency Report states that the investment in the Power sector stands at USD1.1 trillion in 2023. The top investments include batteries as an energy storage device along with renewables and grids. However, grid investment is a growing sector compared to batteries and renewables.
The battery storage investment stands approximately at USD14 billion in China, and USD13 billion in the USA. The hydro storage battery technology tops the list of USD5 billion investments in Europe.
Top three upcoming trends
Alternate battery technologies
New battery technologies like sodium-ion batteries are an emerging trend in the world of energy storage and EVs. Other popular battery technologies currently under research and development include redox flow, saltwater, lithium-sulfur, lead acid, nickel metal hybrid, lithium-iron, magnesium-ion, manganese cathode batteries, etc.
Lithium-ion batteries remain the most popular battery technology at a size of USD52.5 billion. As of 2022, the sodium ion battery makes up USD868 million of the market with an expectation to grow at a CAGR of 23.21 % up to 2030.
Hybrid energy storage systems
The hybrid energy storage systems include electromechanical and thermal technologies. Flywheel and CAES technologies are two of the growing electromechanical storage systems. Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) compresses air and stores it underground for further utilization with the help of turbines. While flywheel technology, on the other hand, is an electromechanical system that uses the kinetic energy of the “flywheels”.
The thermal energy storage systems are another segment that stores thermal energy for future use to generate power, and enable cooling and heating mechanisms. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is among the thermal storage technologies that reflect sun rays to generate heat and store it for later use.
Just like renewable energy sources including wind and solar energy, energy storage systems are rapidly growing to empower micro-grid. As mentioned above, the grid sector is a part of power investment along with renewable and battery markets.
The decentralized microgrid is all set to change the traditional infrastructure for power generation. The concept proposes that no regulatory authority would govern the generation, storage, transfer, and consumption of electricity. The “power units”, connected in a grid system, would be located close to the point of use, which may be a commercial area or house for efficient management.