CDA Addresses Techconnect World Innovatation Conference on Projected Market for Grid-Level Energy Storage

June 18, 2014


Government, Private Financial Investments and Regulations Requiring Renewable Sources of Energy Will Spur Growth, CDA Predicts

WASHINGTON, D. C.— Markets for energy storage technologies in the United States are expected to grow substantially through 2030, with increased investments spurred by state and federal regulatory policies that encourage renewable sources of electric power to supply the grid, according to Zolaikha Strong, Director of Sustainable Energy of the Copper Development Association (CDA), in a presentation Monday, June 16, to the TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C.

“More than 30 states have implemented mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that mandate generation of renewable energy into the electricity generation mix, and the recent announcement of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed emissions limits for coal-fired power plants are likely to increase that demand significantly,” Strong said.

The presentation, “A Market Evaluation for Energy Storage in the United States,” was based on a study conducted for CDA by KEMA examining the current market for electrical grid energy storage applications and the future potential for growth of the technology.

The study reveals that the current market is robust, and the potential market is huge. Estimates show that between 2 to 4 gigawatts (GW) of energy storage could be developed over the next five years depending on financial incentives, including government policies that encourage grants and favorable tax policies as well as direct private investment from venture capitalists and other sources.

Strong’s presentation to the TechConnect conference outlined several key findings of the study, including:

  • The storage industry is on the cusp of commercialization and in a state of acceleration due to the demonstration projects that are continuing to test and define grid applications;
  • Technology advancements over the last few years have enabled storage to grow from a “future concept” to an accepted tool in certain applications;
  • Storage has a strong role in facilitating the incorporation of renewable energy into the U.S. electricity grid;
  • Opportunities for global energy storage are significant;
  • Utilities are predicted to be the largest future development.

“Renewable energy generation is on the rise, and energy storage to facilitate distribution of renewable energy is moving from a theoretical technology with small-scale deployments to a major reality,” Strong said.

“The copper industry is keenly interested in benchmarking and tracking the success of this technology, because copper intensities in energy storage applications are expected to be significant. Copper is a reliable, sustainable and extremely effective material for many energy storage technologies. The copper industry forecasts tremendous growth opportunities,” she said.

The full study and highlights are available in Energy Storage section.