Energy storage crucial for developing smart grid, renewables

Mountain View, Calif., April 17, 2012 — Electric energy storage systems are crucial for the further development and transformation of a range of sectors, including renewable energy, automotive, grid stabilization, smart grid, back-up power and portable devices.

Big scale, reliable and durable electric energy storage technologies will enhance the usage and commercial attractiveness of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's Electricity Storage Technologies: Market Penetration and Roadmapping research finds that electric energy storage systems are inscribed in the development strategies of intermittent renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) developers, grid operators and utility companies.

Among the various electric energy storage systems, advanced batteries are set to attract the greatest interest in the near future. This is because of their flexibility in use, allowing for their employment in grid balancing and connecting intermittent renewable energy generators to the main electric grid.

Other electric energy storage technologies include flywheels and compressed air energy storage systems. Advanced adiabatic CAES systems are anticipated to play an important role in enabling the safe connection of big wind farms to the main electric grid in an economically viable way.

Before electric energy storage technology can be adopted on a mass scale, certain technical problems need to be resolved. For instance, investors and developers are already focused on developing new chemistry that will optimize battery durability and energy density. This, together with efforts to reduce the time needed for battery recharging, is likely to encourage widespread adoption of battery technology by the automotive and electric grid industries.

Another important problem is the initial cost of storage technologies. Further R&D needs to focus on increasing energy/power density and reducing initial costs through ramped up production. This will render electric energy storage systems more attractive across applications.

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