• Fri. May 14th, 2021

The United States has just broken its energy storage record


Dec 17, 2020

Solar and wind zero-carbon electricity is excellent for the environment. Because the wind doesn’t often blow as well as the sun doesn’t often shine, power companies who have to ensure that electrons trickle to households and workplaces rapidly can have a headache. The alternative is energy storage: large batteries that can collect and discharge power from intermittent sources when most effective. The magnitude of storage over the last several years has been consistent but slow.  But the United States energy storage demand has boomed completely in the last 3 months, as per new Wood Mackenzie data, offering renewables a significant boost in the battle to decimate fossil fuels.

The new US battery installations’ record was broken in the third quarter of this year, beating the second quarter (the previous record) by 240%. The charge was driven by “front-of-the-meter also identified as utility-scale systems instead of household, business, or factory batteries. It’s a sign that power producers, and not just climate-minded people, are laying the foundation for an even cleaner grid, which is significant because at least one-quarter of the United States’ carbon emissions are compensated for by the grid. And the grid, when vehicles, heating systems, as well as other fuel intake points go hybrid, is supposed to bear even more of the total electricity load.

Much of the proposed plants are in California, which has some of the largest existing solar and wind farm fleets globally and has some of the most ambitious decarbonization goals in the country: 100 percent zero-carbon energy by 2045. It is a huge opportunity for power producers to switch into storage early on. In September, the nation’s largest battery in the world went live. “For the United States storage market, these eye-catching deployment figures reflect only the start of a lengthy scale up,” said Dan Finn-Foley, head of energy storage for WoodMac. “We do not anticipate this record, as impressive as it is, to last long, given the scale of schemes expected for 2021.”

Engineers and politicians are gradually shifting their focus to energy storage technologies because of the worries about the environmental effects of fossil fuels and energy grids’ capability and efficiency across the globe. Energy storage can help tackle the erratic nature of wind and solar power; it can also adjust easily to significant demand changes in many situations, rendering the grid more flexible and eliminating the need to install back-up power stations. An energy storage facility’s performance is measured by how rapidly it can respond to changes in demand, the rate of energy loss in the storage process, its total energy storage capacity, and how easily it can be recharged.