Tesla Among Winners as Energy Storage Triples, GTM Research Says

(Bloomberg) — Energy storage in the U.S. will more than
triple this year as regulators allow use of the technology by
utilities and homeowners, according to a study by GTM Research
and the Energy Storage Association.

Changes in regulatory policy, particularly in California,
and the growth of renewable energy are driving demand, said Ravi
Manghani, an analyst with Boston-based GTM and lead author of
the report. Tesla Motors Inc., which is proposing to build a
battery factory, will be among the beneficiaries of increased
storage sales.

“Tesla is probably on the top of that list, given their
plans for the gigafactory and talking about 50 gigawatt-hours of
manufacturing capacity in the next four to five years,”
Manghani said in a telephone interview. “They are probably one
of the first companies that comes to mind, but by no means are
they the only one.”

SunEdison Inc. announced the acquisition of a storage
company Wednesday, part of a strategy to add technology that can
supply power when solar isn’t available. The panel maker and
power producer NextEra Energy Inc. are moving more into storage
as federal tax incentives for renewable-energy projects begin
drying up, Manghani said.

Lithium-ion battery makers including Samsung SDI Co. and
Panasonic Corp. also stand to benefit from more storage use, as
more than half of all deployments last year used that
technology.

About 220 megawatts of capacity will be installed this year
from 62 megawatts in 2014, according to the report.
Installations totaled about 44 megawatts in 2013. The U.S.
market is estimated to reach 861 megawatts of capacity annually
by 2019, according to the report. The market will be valued at
$1.5 billion by then, from about $128 million last year.

Residential Use

About 90 percent of the new capacity added so far is used
on the power grid before electricity gets to customers. This
allows energy companies and utilities to better manage their
networks. Storage by end users is expected to grow to 45 percent
of the market by 2019 on increasing residential demand.
California has mandated 1.3 gigawatts of storage be in place by
2020.

“That’s going to lead to a significant amount of storage
deployment along with solar,” Manghani said. “The next five
years will be all about growth.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Justin Doom in New York at
jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Tina Davis, Will Wade

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