Industry analysts IHS Markit expect the on-grid energy storage market to double this year from 1.4 gigawatt hours (GWh) to 2.9 GWh. IHS projects this storage capacity to skyrocket to 21 GWh by 2025. Over this period, lithium ion batteries will be the mainstream energy storage technology, capturing more than 80% market share in the grid-tied segment. IHS expects Japan and the US to be the largest investors in this technology. IHS forecasts: “Looking to the future, half of all energy storage will come from households and businesses seeking to control their energy consumption, which will massively disrupt the traditional business models from established electric power utilities and large equipment manufacturers.” (See the chart above for projections of energy storage growth by selected countries in 2025.)

Germany will see a substantial growth in its energy storage market, according to GTM Research’s new report The German Energy Storage Market: 2016-2021.  Last year the country had 67 megawatts (MW) of energy storage installed but an additional 161 MW is expected to be added this year. Total German storage will increase 11 fold between 2017 and 2025. This substantial growth in energy storage is being propelled by changes in the country’s renewable energy policies coupled with high electricity prices. The primary drivers are a declining feed-in-tariff for solar and wind producers, a doubling of electricity prices  for residential customers over the past decade, and a large array of installed renewable facilities. To encourage energy storage, the government has introduced a new program whereby it will subsidize a certain amount of the cost of the energy storage system, provided that it is paired with a new or existing solar installation. At current levels 22% of the cost is covered, but this will reduce 3% every six months. There are reports that reports that some 50% to 70% of all new residential PV systems installed in Germany today are being done so alongside a battery storage system.

In a new report, Navigant Research looks at the future for advanced energy storage batteries for transportation and grid-tied stationary storage. Lithium ion is currently the primary chemistry used for transportation and grid-tied stationary energy storage. However. there will be limitations to lithium ion over time, including challenges related to energy density, safety, and costs. As a result, several new battery chemistries are projected to enter these markets in the coming years, primarily in North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The next-generation advanced battery chemistries at laboratory-scale research or pilot-scale production levels today include lithium sulfur (Li-S), lithium solid-state (Li-SS), next-generation flow, and a liquid metal battery.  Meeting and exceeding the safety expectations of lithium ion at lower price points will be paramount for the development of next-generation advanced batteries. Navigant projects global energy capacity for next-generation advanced batteries will grow substantially from 30 megawatt hours in 2019 to 6.5 gigawatt hours annually in 2025.

Last week the US state of Massachusetts became the third state to consider introducing a mandate that electric power utilities must get a certain percentage of their power from energy storage systems. The other states are California and Oregon.  California currently requires utilities to get 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage by 2020. Oregon has told its utilities to submit proposals by January 1, 2017, to procure systems of 5 megawatt hours or higher. Massachusetts has asked its energy officials to determine by the end of this year whether or not it is appropriate to set targets for power companies to have energy storage systems by January 1, 2020. If so, it may choose to set specific targets and reevaluate them every three years.

A new report from Navigant Research says there will be almost 40,000 natural gas vehicle refueling stations globally by 2026. Despite the decline in oil prices over the past year, stricter emissions rules by governments as well as fuel economy regulations mean that compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) remain a very attractive alternative to gasoline and diesel in many regions of the world where electric vehicles are not a practical alternative.  Natural gas is popular for larger trucks and buses, where electrification is not as practical and governments are tightening diesel standards.

Oklahoma is the first US state to have a comprehensive network of natural-gas fueling stations along its highways. According to Natural Gas Vehicles for America, Oklahoma has a compressed natural gas (CNG) station every 100 miles along its interstate highways. There are 97 CNG stations on the state’s highways compared with 33 public electric car charging stations.

In July Germany introduced a new subsidy scheme in an attempt to increase electric car sales. Applicants receive a €4,000 (£3,390) discount off electric car sales, while buyers of plug-in hybrid vehicles a discount of €3,000. So far  about 2,000 people have taken advantage of the program with a third of the buyers purchasing a BMW. The total €1.2bn cost of the subsidies is being shared equally between the German government and automakers, with a goal of selling around 400,000 EVs. The program ends in 2019.

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