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Energy storage could take $40B foothold in microgrid sector by 2029

By Rod Walton for Power Engineering
A growth in microgrids will drive a major rise in energy storage capacity over the next decade, according to a new report.

Guidehouse Insights (formerly Navigant Research) forecasts that cumulative capacity for new installed energy storage in microgrids is expected to exceed 36,938 MW globally by 2029. The installations, if fully realized, could generate about $40 billion in revenue worldwide.

“The markets for both energy storage and microgrids have developed significantly in the last few years thanks to major price decreases and accelerated adoption,” says Ricardo F. Rodriguez, research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “Looking ahead, the global market for ESMG is expected to grow rapidly, with total annual capacity additions increasing from 650.4 MW in 2020 to 8,633.4 MW in 2029.”

Microgrids are increasing in adoption at military posts and in storm-ravaged areas looking for grid resiliency. A previous Navigant report indicated that about 575 microgrid projects moved into planning or deployment phrases in the first half of 2019 alone.

Microgrids can involve and integrate various generation resources including solar, combined heat and power (CHP) and diesel or gas-fired on-site power gensets. They do not require energy storage/battery assets, but the latter provides a backup and balancing solutions for the intermittency of renewable resources.

In April 2019, ABB and Rolls-Royce announced a global partnership on microgrid technology and advanced automation. Together the two companies will offer a microgrid solution for utilities, commercial and industrial entities.

Through the partnership, Rolls-Royce’s MTU Onsite Energy brand power system solutions will be combined with ABBs Ability e-Mesh modular microgrid solution, control capability, and remote service.

The Carlyle Group investment fund also has joined with Schneider Electric to create the Alphastruxure venture focused on microgrid-as-a-service projects.

A vast majority of energy storage options within microgrids are lithium ion-based systems. However, some major renewable-focused microgrid developers, such as Ameresco, are looking into options such as flow battery technology.

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