US energy storage market nearly doubled in 2018, report says

Source: By Gavin Bade, Utility Dive • Posted: Monday, March 11, 2019

The record year for storage in 2018 reflects the increasing competitiveness of batteries and enhanced utility familiarity with the new technology.

Growth in FTM storage was especially pronounced in the fourth quarter, when the U.S. deployed 352 MWh of batteries. Many of those installations were used for capacity, the authors wrote, and had durations of more than four hours.

Credit: WoodMac

As in recent years, California led the nation for storage deployments as its utilities aim to meet the state’s ambitious energy storage mandates. Texas, New York and Hawaii also were hotspots for growth, the authors said.

Battery storage growth came despite more modest price reductions in lithium-ion technologies than researchers originally anticipated. While they had originally forecasted a 14% decline in battery prices, supply shortages meant overall price declines were only estimated at about 6%.

“2018 was also marked by battery supply shortages, as manufacturers committed capacity to the South Korean market to take advantage of incentives,” the authors wrote in a release. “Consequently, U.S. storage system price declines slowed in 2018, with some products even seeing slight price increases.”

Analysts expect those supply shortages to abate after the first half of this year as manufacturers bring new battery factories online. That will help drive growth in U.S. battery storage that could reach more than 4 GW of annual additions by the next decade.

Credit: WoodMac