U.S. saw huge boom in new battery storage at end of 2020
U.S. additions of energy storage capacity shattered their previous records in the fourth quarter of 2020, per new data from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
Why it matters: It signals the growing mainstreaming of technologies that help integrate more renewables onto power grids, provide backup energy and other benefits.
By the numbers: 2,156 megawatt-hours came online in the final three months of the year, which is 182% higher than the prior quarter, according to the analysis released with the U.S. Energy Storage Association.
California is the largest market by far.
The big picture: Check out the chart above, which shows that the bulk of the growth came from "front-of-the-meter" systems — that is, storage that's used directly on the power grid.
The balance is residential systems and commercial and industrial applications.
The intrigue: Consumer concerns about grid reliability are increasingly driving sales of residential backup power systems, including batteries.
- "[T]he ability of solar-plus-storage to provide backup is increasingly driving sales even in markets without additional incentives, particularly states that suffer from regular power outages," Wood Mackenzie analyst Chloe Holden.
- "We expect an uptick in home battery sales in Texas in the aftermath of February’s devastating outages," Holden said in a statement alongside the data.