Electrical Power Storage Technologies for Alternative Energy Sources

Published - May 2011| Analyst - Donald Saxman| Code - EGY073A
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Report Highlights

The global alternative electrical power storage market in 2011 will be worth more than $325 million, including more than $236 million worth of electrochemical batteries.  This market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% between 2011 and 2016 under a consensus scenario resulting in a $423 million global market in 2016, including $322 million worth of electrochemical batteries.

Report Scope

As defined by this report, “alternative electrical power storage” includes approaches that use primarily electric and high speed kinetic approaches as opposed to larger scale kinetic approaches like pumped hydro and compressed air. This includes:

  • Batteries (including lead-acid, nickel-based, lithium-based, sodium-sulfur, and redox flow systems)
  • Fuel cells, which can be powered by hydrogen generated by excess capacity
  • Flywheel energy storage, which stores excess energy in a high speed rotating kinetic battery
  • Capacitive energy storage, which uses an electronic rather than an electrochemical approach to storing electrical energy.

As defined by this report, “alternative electrical power storage” refers primarily to power generated by means other than coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric (wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal/wave). However, the alternative market is discussed in relation to this established “conventional” market.  It should also be noted that many of the energy storage technologies discussed in this report can also be used during conventional power generation for peak shifting.

This report discusses the North American, European, Far Eastern, and Rest-of-World market in terms of units, value, and megawatt capacity.  A target market based on optimistic, pessimistic, and consensus alternative energy adoption and power storage potential is provided. This is compared to the conventional power generation target and peak shifting opportunities.  The current market is small, mainly limited to pilot projects.  By 2016, these pilots will be expanding into commercial implementations. This 2016 market is also characterized in terms of optimistic, pessimistic, and consensus scenarios. Finally, long-term markets prospects (beyond 2021) are discussed in more general terms.

Major utility-scale alternative electrical power companies are listed and characterized, and energy storage systems companies and integrators are profiled in detail.

Note that there is a significant distinction between the term “alternative power” and the more commonly-used term “renewable energy.” 

  • “Alternative” power is generated using processes beyond commonly-used coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydropower
  • “Renewable” energy is generated using processes that do not expend mined or pumped resources -- coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear. However, in addition to all the alternative fuels, “renewable” also includes hydropower.

Analyst Credentials

This report’s project analyst, Donald Saxman, is the editor of BCC Research’s Fuel Cell Industry Report and Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress newsletters, and has founded several other BCC newsletters.  Mr. Saxman has more than 28 years of experience in market analysis, technical writing, and newsletter editing.  Since 1983, he has operated as a technical market consultant and subcontractor to BCC Research, and, in this capacity, he has prepared more than 80 technology market research reports, including many that covered battery technology and battery markets.  His previous experience includes supervision of a quality-control laboratory at a major secondary lead refinery, experience as an analytical chemist at a hazardous waste testing service, product assurance manager for a space station life-support-system project, and an information technology business analyst and project manager.

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