CLEAN ENERGY STORAGE DEMAND IS SURGING 1,445%
The phrase “clean energy” has been tossed around quite a bit over the past decade.
And as with any new, exciting technology, it became a cliché and a buzzword, rather than a realistic alternative to fossil fuels.
But as prices for renewables like solar and wind continue to fall, we’re starting to see legitimate efforts to make it a reality on a global scale.
For example, almost $300 billion was invested in renewable energy in 2016. That’s more than double the $143 billion spent on new nuclear, coal, gas and fuel oil power plants.
But not only is investment in fossil fuels falling, we’re also seeing the outright rejection of new projects. As in, big energy companies are being told “no” when they want to build new plants that don’t fit the plan.
A BETTER SOURCE OF EXTRA ENERGY
One prominent example of this was the proposed Puente power plant in Oxnard, California.
This facility was going to be a “peaker” plant. These facilities provide extra energy to people during times of high demand.
But these facilities are expensive to maintain and don’t operate consistently, so they’re now looking to a new technology: battery storage.
Just think, if you can store excess energy in huge battery systems, it makes sense to use that as an energy source when there’s a lot of demand.
Of course, it can also be used when there’s not enough sun or wind to generate enough electricity at any given time.
PHASING OUT THE OLD WAYS OF GETTING ENERGY
The up-and-coming battery storage market is making strides at the perfect time, for two big reasons.
One is that the cost of batteries is falling at a rapid rate. The price of lithium-ion batteries, one of the most common types, has fallen by about 85% since 2010.
The second reason is that we’re now seeing legislature being passed to phase out the old ways of getting energy. And what’s replacing them? Renewables.
This past February, California announced its plans to replace three big natural gas power plants by 2019. They’ll be replaced with renewable energy plants, complete with plenty of battery storage.
And by the end of 2020, it expects to install enough energy storage capacity to power over 1 million homes.
California isn’t the only one making strides in this area, either. Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Washington state and Washington, D.C. also have plans to become fully renewable over the coming decades.
Of course, more renewable energy plants means more demand for storage.
We saw a huge increase in this area in 2018, as the number of the world’s completed storage projects went up by 83%.
And as the technology becomes better and cheaper, these storage systems are going to reach more and more people.
A GLOBAL COMPETITION FOR ENERGY STORAGE
Right now, the biggest battery system in the world is Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve system in Australia, which can power about 30,000 homes.
But Hornsdale won’t be the biggest for long. It’s turned into a global competition to have the biggest capacity for energy storage.
Within the past year, two huge solar storage projects have been unveiled in Texas and Florida that have over four times more power than the Hornsdale farm.
And China currently has three battery projects underway that top the capacity of Tesla’s system.
One of the big ones in China is also set to be the world’s largest vanadium-powered battery system. These vanadium battery systems are preferred due to their ability to last over a decade with little to no decrease in performance.
PROFIT FROM CLEAN ENERGY
With a global push to harness energy from environmentally friendly and unlimited sources like wind and solar, demand for these storage systems are set to skyrocket over the next several years.
And as a result, the battery storage industry is at the cusp of a major rally.
This industry was valued at about $11 billion in 2018. But by 2030 that number is expected to explode to $170 billion.
That’s annual growth of 25.6%, and total growth of 1,445%!