Green power storage size could triple to 2030
Storage of green energy is necessary to meet periods where the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow.
Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 07:06 AM
STORAGE NEEDED: An experimental solar thermal power plant in Juelich, Germany. As green power becomes more prevalant, more sources of storage will be necessary. (Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/ZUMA Press)
FRANKFURT - The global market for electricity storage facilities could more than triple in size, requiring 280 billion euros ($380.1 billion) of investment over the next 20 years, said a German study released on Feb. 18.
The share of renewable energy such as wind or solar power is expanding rapidly as the world looks to rein in carbon dioxide emissions, but its output depends on weather patterns, said the study from Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) Munich office.
Because the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow, far more storage will be needed in future to keep reserve green power ready for undersupply periods.
Power storage is also needed to provide balancing supply when loads on transmission networks vary wildly — due to the inevitable volatility of renewable power fed into them.
"In addition to currently available capacity of around 100 gigawatt (GW), there will be a global market potential of 330 GW in various storage technologies up to 2030," an abstract of the BCG study said.
"This necessitates an additional cumulative investment need of 280 billion euros (to 2030)."
The authors said they believed good financial returns were possible even without subsidies for utilities, raw materials and special equipment suppliers and financial players.
They highlighted opportunities in providing power obtained in low price periods and then released to operators at times that peak prices are paid.
It said that Germany, the United States, China and Japan were discussing storage-related regulation, which could work toward boosting business opportunities.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert)
Copyright 2011 Reuters Environmental Online Report