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Growth in Energy Storage Systems Likely as Renewables Boom

  • Renewable energy developments are growing as costs for these projects drop
  • Demand is set to increase for storage solutions to be developed in tandem with green energy projects due to their intermittent production
  • Insufficient energy storage can help drive volatility in energy costs

Demand for energy storage options is set to increase this year as the renewable energy sectors booms. While some proposals are based around traditional batteries, others involve innovative solutions to link different green energy options.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is projecting that 70 percent of new energy production in the United States in 2021 will come from wind and solar projects. It also estimates that battery storage capacity will quadruple this year.

Wind and solar are intermittent energy producers, since they do not generate power when breezes or sunlight are insufficient. Batteries and other storage solutions allow excess energy to be stored for use during these downtimes.

If there is insufficient storage, it can contribute to volatility in energy prices. For this reason, developers are increasingly developing solar installations and wind farms in conjunction with energy storage infrastructure.

Residential storage systems allow homeowners with rooftop solar panels to store excess energy to continue defraying electricity costs on cloudy days. However, utility-scale solutions that provide a few hours of backup power will be in higher demand. There have also been proposals to use excess energy to support operations generating other green energy, such as pumping water into reservoirs to power hydroelectric sources or powering electrolyzers to produce hydrogen.

Renewable energy projects have become more popular as their costs drop, and as governments and businesses adopt policy changes to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Renewables are likely to overtake oil and gas production by the early 2030s at the current pace.

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