POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, Korea

South Korea, China to lead $620b energy storage market: report

They are some of the countries where increasingly cheap batteries could be installed in more business premises.

Five countries in the Asia Pacific, China, India, Japan, Australia, and South Korea, are part of the potential leaders of the world’s energy storage sector, BloombergNEF (BNEF) said. They are expected to take part in a market that could grow to $620b over the next 22 years.

According to its Long-Term Energy Storage Outlook, the global energy storage market will grow to a cumulative 942GW/2, 857GWh by 2040. Cheap batteries mean that wind and solar will increasingly be able to run when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, it added.

In the near-term, South Korea will dominate the market, the US will take over in the early 2020s, but will be overtaken by China in the 2020s. China will then lead throughout to 2040.

These Asian markets, alongside the US, Germany, France, and the UK, could represent two-thirds of the installed capacity by 2040.

For these countries, behind-the-meter, or BTM, installations will be sited at business and industrial premises, and at millions of residential properties. Owners will perform a variety of tasks, including shifting grid demand in order to reduce electricity costs, storing excess rooftop solar output, improving power quality and reliability, and earning fees for helping to smooth voltage on the grid.

BloombergNEF energy storage analyst Yayoi Sekine said, “We have become much more bullish about storage deployments since our last forecast a year ago. This is partly due to faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs, and partly to a greater focus on two emerging applications for the technology – electric vehicle charging, and energy access in remote regions.”

Moreover, demand for batteries for stationary storage will make up only 7% of total battery demand in 2040. It will be dwarfed by the electrical vehicle market, which will more materially impact the supply-demand balance and prices for metals such as lithium and cobalt, BloombergNEF added.

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