But according to a new report, when it comes to short-duration storage, lithium-ion batteries -- the kind in your mobile phones and laptop computers -- will be key.
In a report from cleantech market intelligence firm Pike Research, Li-ion batteries are seen as holding the greatest potential, and forecast to capture about 70 percent of the total Ancillary Services market by 2019.
That market includes applications such as frequency regulation, spinning reserve and voltage control to handle energy demand spikes that last less than an hour.
According to the report, lithium will win despite competition from a half-dozen major technologies vying for the position, including flywheels, compressed air and flow and lead acid batteries.
Why? They have the "right mix of performance and cost," according to the report.
Pike forecasts that Li-ion revenues in the sector will total $4.7 billion by 2019. The entire sector will total $6.6 billion by 2019, a far cry from today's figure of $227 million, and will ramp up as plug-in electric vehicles and other heavy draws on the grid proliferate.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com