The energy storage market is shifting from R&D demonstration projects to a commercially viable market, states IHS, Inc. Q4 2015 saw a 45% increase in the global project pipeline, while 900 MW of projects are expected to be installed this year. The final quarter of 2015 saw a significant increase in planned global energy storage projects, up 45% on the previous quarter, to reach nearly 400 MW. The overall pipeline of planned battery and flywheel projects now stands at 1.6 GW.
The majority 45% are planned for the U.S., although Japan is expected to comprise around 20%. Several large-scale projects bolstered the Q4 pipeline, says IHS, including LG Chem’s 90 MW contract with Steag to supply six large-scale lithium ion batteries for what will become the largest energy storage system project of its kind, when complete, in 2017; and Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s 75 MW of awarded energy storage contracts under the California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Storage Decision program, which is targeting 1.32 GW of storage by investor-owned utilities by 2020.
Driving the energy storage uptake are several factors, says IHS, including continued battery cost reductions, government funding programs and utility tenders. It expects to see 900 MW projects come online in 2016, thus leading to a doubling in the global installed base of grid connected capacity.