By: Kevin Williams
Categories: Cool Tech
Intelligent energy storage combines the Internet of Things (IoT) with energy storage technology. This combination allows businesses, building owners, and facility managers to control and automate their energy storage and usage processes to maximize efficiency, lower costs, and decrease their buildings' carbon footprint.
As we've seen, intelligent energy storage has been gaining momentum in the national marketplace, and this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. The U.S. has already added the capacity to store a billion watts of power, or one gigawatt, and this amount is expected to double in 2018. In addition, GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association predict significant growth in the energy storage industry over the next several years. Energy storage also may soon replace the need for peaker plants to provide extra energy during peak demand periods.
One of the major reasons for the expansion of intelligent energy storage is due to the fact that lithium ion battery technology continues to become cheaper, thus causing the price of energy per kilowatt hour to decline as well. Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates that prices will be below $100 per kilowatt hour by 2025.
Governments are also recognizing the value of intelligent energy storage. For example, California has started the Self-Generation Incentive Program, which provides rebates for customers to install storage in their homes or businesses. Maryland recently launched a tax incentive for installing energy storage systems as well.
Another benefit of the ongoing development of intelligent energy storage is the value of combining with renewable energy. When these technologies are integrated, it increases the value of renewable energy because it allows intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind to continue to be valuable even on cloudy or windless days. Thus, businesses, building owners, and facility managers receive even more value from intelligent energy storage when they generate stored energy on their own rather than buying it from the grid. For instance, New York State officials recently announced $1.4 billion in funding for 26 renewable energy projects which includes a wind farm that features an energy storage component. Intelligent energy storage also allows you to sell your stored renewable energy back to the grid or to your neighbors through microgrids.
"There are several of these [utilities] where the developer is deploying storage to store solar generation during the middle of the day and then dispatch these storage assets during evening hours, when the relative value of those electrons or those kilowatt hours is much higher in the evening hours," said Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s energy storage analyst.
The intelligent energy storage industry will continue to develop at a rapid pace as battery technology becomes cheaper and more efficient, and governments and organizations continue to incentivize its development and deployment. When combined with renewable energy, the value of intelligent energy storage is increased exponentially.