Energy storage goes gangbusters despite pandemic
America deployed a record amount of energy storage in the third quarter of 2020, increasing 240% over the previous high set last quarter, a new report says.
Why it matters: Storing electricity to back up wind and solar is key to ensuring increases in these variable energy sources goes smoothly. That upsurge is a central part of combating climate change.
Driving the news: New battery storage installments in the third quarter reached a record 476 megawatts, according to a report released Wednesday by consulting firm Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association.
What they’re saying: “These eye-catching deployment totals represent only the beginning of a long-anticipated scale up for the U.S. storage market,” said Dan Finn-Foley, Wood Mackenzie’s lead energy storage expert. “Considering the scale of systems anticipated for 2021 we do not expect this record, as remarkable as it is, to stand for long.”
How it works: Continual price declines in batteries and government policies supporting such deployment are behind the big rise, which would have been even bigger had it not been for the pandemic.
- Most energy storage, and the majority of the increase, is coming from large-scale systems installed directly onto the electricity grid (as opposed to, say, a 5-kilowatt Tesla Powerwall that individuals can install in their homes).
- For context, 476 megawatts, when deployed, equals about 95,000 of those Tesla Powerwalls.
Go deeper: As wind and solar increase, so do their challenges