According to the European Association for Storage of Energy (Ease), Europe’s energy storage boom stalled last year due to a slowdown in large-scale schemes designed to store clean electricity from major renewable energy projects. It had started before coronavirus crisis due to lack of state support.
The European market grew by a total of 1 gigawatt-hours in 2019, a significant slowdown compared with 2018, when the energy storage market exceeded expectations to grow by 1.47GWh.
The 2019 downturn was particularly marked for large-scale energy storage projects which connect directly to energy grids, and can help make better use of renewable energy by storing the clean electricity to use when wind and solar power is not available.
These large, utility-scale projects often require planning permission, government financial support or procurement tenders to move ahead. Meanwhile, the rollout of home battery kits, which relies far less on policy support, remained a fast-growing market.
Storage remains a young market and the regulatory landscape is trying to catch up. So, year-on-year fluctuations in market growth are not unexpected.
But one can see strong underlying drivers which will further market expansion in the early 2020s as regulation stabilizes and revenue streams mature.
However, the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus is likely to delay policies supporting clean energy technologies as well as hit the supply chain which could see the rate of battery installations fall by 4% globally, according to a recent report by BloombergNEF (BNEF).
BNEF also expects 2020 to register a fall in world’s solar power growth since the 1980s. The analysts slashed forecasts for new solar power projects by 8%.
It also expects the sale of electric vehicles to stall due to the coronavirus.
Reference- The Guardian, BBC, EASE website, BloombergNEF (BNEF)