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Energy Storage Is Key To Future Success Of Photovoltaics

Frost and Sullivan say electric energy storage systems to enhance electric grid reliability and support expanded renewable energy usage


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.

"The most important drivers for
developing electric energy storage systems are grid stability and reliability,
mass integration of intermittent renewable energy generators, better use of
energy resources, fossil fuels shortage, and limiting of greenhouse
gases," said Technical Insights Research Analyst Tomasz Kaminski.
"Electric energy storage technologies will be an inseparable part of smart
grids and distributed energy generating systems in the future."

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.

"Frost & Sullivan research
reveals that lithium-ion batteries will play the most important role in the
future of electric energy storage systems over the next five to seven years,"
said Kaminski. "EVs will be a key and sizeable application area for this
technology."

Other electric energy storage
technologies include flywheels and compressed air energy storage (CAES)
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.

"Nevertheless, all of these
systems are still either at the developmental stage (advanced batteries) or are
not yet mature (CAES)," said Kaminski. "Currently, the only available
and economically viable storage system is pumped hydro, whose use is
significantly limited because of the need for proximity to large water
reservoirs."

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.

"Ultimately, understanding and
addressing the different challenges faced in diverse applications is key,"
said Kaminski.  "This will allow
acceleration of the development of electric energy storage systems."


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