Virtual power plants with energy storage to invade energy markets

The top 10 stories of 2015

Energy storage-enabled virtual power plants are expected to invade energy markets, serving as highly networked systems and precursors to a fully functional energy cloud, according to Navigant Research.

The global energy storage industry reached milestones in 2015, and momentum is expected to continue as rapidly falling technology costs and innovative business models combine with government policies and regulatory reforms to create a dynamic market for energy storage.

As the industry matures, Navigant Research foresees five trends likely to shape the future of energy storage, including one that represents a key business model for distributed energy storage.

“The energy storage industry began to noticeably scale in 2015,” says Anissa Dehamna, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Looking to 2016 and beyond, it is expected that the energy storage industry will resolve persistent issues such as standardized contracts and modular system design, embrace new business models such as residential storage and virtual power plants, and begin to see pressure and interest from the IT space.”

Navigant Research also believes that the energy storage sector will leverage the lessons learned from distributed solar to quickly standardize how energy storage system components should be built and how they should perform and communicate to each other and the grid.

This modular evolution will allow project developers and ESS hardware and software suppliers to apply traditional lean manufacturing concepts to rapidly reduce project costs, resulting in more modular ESSs with standardized power and energy performance capabilities and lower costs over the near- to mid-term.

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