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Innovation

Emphasis on energy storage projects increasing worldwide

According to a new Pike research report, it isn't only the renewable energy sector that is gaining momentum.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

According to a new Pike research report, it isn't only the renewable energy sector that is gaining momentum.

Future sources of energy to power a growing population -- and how to develop and maintain them -- is fast approaching a critical issue for business and consumer worldwide, especially with the growing cost of fossil fuels.

However, it is not just the issue of developing new, sustainable energy sources –- but how it can be efficiently used and stored.

The market for energy storage is dynamic, reflecting the industry's current development and fluctuations. However, in its current infant state, a number of criticisms have been levied towards it. First and foremost, energy storage projects are often seen as overstated –- continually announced but rarely reaching fruition.

Secondly, it is too expensive, and lastly, projects are often reliant on governmental support -- in the current economic environment, this has meant energy storage development has often been placed on the backburner.

However, a new tracker report supplied by Pike Research has suggested that globally, projects of this nature are being speedily deployed towards the commercial sector.

During the first half of 2012, the number of announced projects rose by 8 percent, from 600 to 649. Those that were deployed in these sixth months increased from 482 to 514.

Research analyst Brittany Gibson said:

"Considerable momentum is building behind newer energy storage technologies, such as advanced batteries, particularly as the renewable energy community embraces storage as a means of mitigating risks associated with variable power generation resources.

High costs remain a significant hurdle for newer technologies, but market interest is growing rapidly as government-funded programs encourage the deployment of a wide variety of technologies."

The largest base of energy storage is in Asia, which currently holds over 60 gigawatts of cumulative installed capacity. In general, the manufacturing industry -- especially the production of R&D and battery technologies -- accounts for many of these projects.

Advanced batteries and technology including pumped hydro are predicated to play an important role in emerging markets like China -- and boosting the energy storage market may be crucial to the expansion of these areas.

The report is available for on the firm's website.

Image credit: Roger Wollstadt

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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