Increasing worldwide capacity for renewable energy generation should lead to a market for batteries and electricity storage technology worth around £8.4bn a year by 2020, a management consulting firm has predicted.
Boston Consulting Group published a study which calculated that when at least a fifth of electricity comes from renewable sources, as much as 40% of the average grid load will be needed to balance out fluctuations resulting from intermittent energy supply.
Energy supply and demand will be balanced, in the main, by storage technology such as compressed air devices, pumped hydro and hydrogen storage devices.
The group has forecast the market to keep the supply going will increase from today’s approximate annual £843M to around £5bn a year by 2015 and to well over £8bn a year by 2020.
Massive investment in energy infrastructure would however be required to ensure low-carbon provision can be realised, it said.
“In addition to currently available capacity of about 100GW, there will be a global market potential of 330GW in various storage technologies up to 2030,” said an abstract of the group’s study.
“This necessitates an additional cumulative investment need of £236bn [to 2030].”