The electricity market is evolving to allow a higher integration of variable energy sources and a new class of devices is approaching the market to satisfy this necessity.
While existing energy storage devices are already populating the market, from Li-ion batteries
to pumped-hydro energy storage, this new class of storage technologies will aim to complete the puzzle of the energy storage market.
Pushed from the electrification of the automotive sector, Li-ion batteries have been deeply investigated in the last decades and are currently the standard choice for short and medium-duration storage.
On the other end of the storage market, pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) are the main energy storage systems supporting the grid. These systems have a power capacity of GW scale (1000s of MW), and a long storage time, from days upwards.
In between these two storage systems a new group of storage devices is now approaching the market, with intermediate power range, between MW to GW scale and an energy storage capacity that is almost indefinite.
The devices investigated by IDTechEx include:
Gravitational Energy Storage (GES):
- Piston-Based GES (PB-GES)
- Underground PHES (U-PHES)
- UnderWater GES (UW-GES)
- Advanced Rail Energy Storage (ARES)
Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES)
Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES)
The market addressed by these systems aims to improve the quality, and resiliency of the electricity grid, and distribution networks. Therefore, it is aiming to address the Front-the-Meter (FTM) section of the electricity grid.
Moreover, because some of these technologies involved the use of several turbines, some of these devices can address more than one service at the time, therefore increasing the value stacking of these technologies.
Although they come with high capital costs, and are in their initial demonstration phase, these devices are the promising solution to stabilize the electricity grid and reach a high level of integration of variable renewable energy sources.
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