The Role of Energy Storage in the Growth of Renewable Energy

May 1st, 2015

Renewable energy technologies have changed the landscape of the energy industry in a major way. However, because technologies like wind turbines and solar panels rely on nature to produce energy, they cannot work continuously. Today, innovators like the founders of our portfolio company, GELI, are developing ways to store energy to solve this problem. Below are recent articles highlighting the growth of energy storage and explaining the crucial role that energy storage will play in the development of renewables. Batteries and Renewable Energy Set to Grow Together by Henry Fountain on The New York Times According to many, the future of energy lies in renewables, particularly solar panels and wind turbines. As the cost of renewable technologies continues to fall sharply, this vision for the future is taking shape. California alone is making progress towards its goal of getting 50% of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Because of the variable nature of renewable sources, energy storage will have to come into play to make the vision of using strictly renewables for electricity production a reality. Batteries can play a major role in working renewables into the electrical grid by storing electricity during times of excess generation and releasing it when needed. Ravi Manghani, analyst with GTM Media states “We expect that every year, we’re going to see on average 100 to 250 percent growth [in energy storage], and most of that will be in batteries.” Our portfolio company, GELI, has identified the major potential that energy storage has in transforming the future of energy production. Its software, GELI EOS, short for Energy Operating System, is a platform that brings together energy storage, power systems, grid hardware, network operations and a partner company’s energy services, to create an “internet of energy”. Five Innovations That Will Electrify Africa by Joshua Romisher on SSIR There are currently 1.3 billion people living without access to electricity and an additionally 1 billion whose electricity is extremely unreliable. 97% of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Romisher, a social entrepreneur working on new ventures in Africa, identified five dynamics that will electrify the continent over the next decade:

  1. Cheaper solar electricity
  2. Greater batter capacity per dollar
  3. Industry disruption worldwide
  4. New financing mechanisms
  5. New business models

Together, the decrease in cost of solar and increase in battery capacity will allow people living off the grid to gain access to affordable and reliable electricity. A Message from GTM’s CEO on Energy Storage by Scott Clavenna on GreenTechMedia Scott Clavenna, CEO and Co-founder of GreenTechMedia, believes that the energy storage market is of critical importance to utilities and players across the renewable energy industry. The market is rapidly expanding, and GTM sees is as a strategic growth opportunity for the power sector. To provide more insight into the young sector, GTM has created a quarterly US Energy Storage Monitor in conjunction with the Energy Storage Association that provides comprehensive research on energy storage markets, deployments, policies, regulations and financing. New Here?