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Reproduced from Wood Mackenzie report; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.