Navigant Research projects the total annual revenue for the energy storage and renewable integration sector will exceed $23 billion by 2026. Utility-scale and behind-the-meter applications are likely to experience the strongest growth. Energy storage systems are increasingly viewed as a way to mitigate the electric grid challenges caused by large additions of renewable energy sources. The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead the deployment through this period, reaching an annual installed power capacity of 11,180 megawatts in 2026. According to the report, solar PV has reached grid parity in several locations around the world and no longer requires subsidies and other incentives to encourage deployment in many countries.

The US state of New York announced it has set an energy storage deployment target of 1.5 gigawatts by 2025. The state government will be investing $200 million to “drive down costs and strategically deploy” energy storage in the state and will provide another $60 million for programs and initiatives to remove cost barriers to development, in areas such as interconnection, customer acquisition and financing. Energy storage in grid infrastructure allows electric power companies to time shift electricity to when it is needed.

A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency claims the cost of renewable energy is now falling so fast that it should be a consistently cheaper source of electricity generation than traditional fossil fuels within just a few years. The cost of generating power from onshore wind has fallen by around 23% since 2010 while the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity has fallen by 73% in that time period. With further price declines expected, all renewable energy technologies should be competitive on price with fossil fuels by 2020. This suggests that onshore wind and solar PV projects could be consistently delivering electricity for as little as $0.03 per kilowatt-hour within two years. Other highlights of the report:

  • Record low prices for solar PV in Abu Dhabi, Chile, Dubai, Mexico, Peru and Saudi Arabia have made 3 cents (US) per kilowatt-hour the new benchmark.
  • By 2020, project and auction data suggest that all currently commercialized renewable power generation technologies will be competing, and even undercutting, fossil fuels by generating in the range 3-10 cents (US) per kWh range.

Construction is about to start on Australia’s first waste-to-energy facility. Located in Perth, the facility will convert 400,000 tonnes of household waste a year into 40 megawatts of electricity. It is expected to be operational by mid-2021.

Global sales of plug-in electric vehicles surpassed 1 million units in 2017 according to a study by Navigant Research. The research company expects the market to experience annual growth around 38% through 2020. Scott Shepard, senior research analyst, said: 

“Battery costs have shrunk dramatically in the last five years and promise to shrink further with the commercialization of solid-state batteries on the horizon. In addition, increasing regulatory pressure in Europe and China may well push the PEV market to the aggressive end of the forecast range regardless of oil prices.”

Navigant Research predicts global sales of light duty stop-start vehicles will exceed $57 million by 2026, accounting for 54% of all light duty vehicle sales. 21% of these vehicles will feature 48 volt batteries. The technology is part of the automotive industry’s reaction to increasing stringent fuel economy and emissions standards imposed by governments around the world. Sam Abuelsamid at Navigant commented:

“Current systems have reached the limit of practical electrical power availability at 12 volts, and because efficiency and automation demands can be realized only by increasing the operating voltage, 48 volts is the practical limit to avoid the need for additional safety protection. 48 volt stop-start electronic systems will combine with other technologies, including micro- and mild-hybrid capabilities and electric turbochargers, to increase efficiency without the adoption of full hybrid or plug-in electric capability.”

European automaker PSA announced it will offer all of its models with an electric option by 2025 and plans to install partial self-driving technology in most of its cars by 2030. PSA owns the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands. The goal is to have 80% of PSA’s cars with level two automation by 2030, which allows them to steer and brake in certain limited conditions such as on a motorway. By that same year, 10% of the cars will contain more advanced level four self-driving systems enabling them to operate without a human driver at all in most instances.


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