This post is one in a series of feature stories on trends shaping advanced energy markets in the U.S. and around the world, drawn from Advanced Energy Now 2016 Market Report, which was prepared for AEE by Navigant Research.
High penetration of renewables in markets such as Hawaii, California, Denmark, Germany, and China is one aspect of the ongoing changes in the electricity system that points toward rising opportunity for energy storage at the residential, commercial, and utility levels. Solar and wind, in particular, as rapidly scaling forms of variable generation, could benefit from storing excess electricity generation – whether on the grid or in the home – until it is needed. At the same time, energy storage is emerging as an alternative to traditional sources of ancillary services, for voltage regulation and other grid supports. Ultimately, large-scale storage could replace peaking power plants that are needed to run only a few hours a year to meet peak demand, while also being used to provide other valuable grid services year-round.