As renewable technologies begin to mature, more and more attention is focusing on energy storage, which has tremendous implications for the current makeup and economics of energy grids. BBC published a chart at the beginning of March that listed the top 10 nations of the world in terms of energy storage capacity. It includes number of projects and storage capacity and cites both operating storage facilities and those under construction. The results are on the right. ⇒
The US Department of Energy’s Global Energy Storage Database provided the information used in the BBC’s chart. The DOE’s website lists 599 projects with 3.55 gigawatts (GW) of storage capacity in all. It shows data in map, graph, and tabular form, with both interactivity and the capability to export selected data to user databases. Here are the top 10 energy storage countries on a basic world map:
Power Storage Capacity
China, Japan, and the US are way ahead of the other top nations.
China: 34,000 kW in 98 facilities,
Japan: 29,000 kW in 84 facilities, and
US: 29,000 kW in 528 facilities.
The other seven countries can each store fewer than 10,000 kW.
Numbers of Projects
The US is far in the lead here, with about 400, versus less than 100 apiece for the other competitors. It also has more large storage facilities (77 greater than 10,000 kW) than any other nation.
Types of Energy Storage
In terms of the types of energy storage, 5 different sources were tracked. Overall, the DOE shows technology type, number of projects, and rated power like this:
The following bar chart shows types of storage used globally over time:
In general, electrochemical and thermal sources made up the original group. Electromechanical sources dominated from 1978–2012, but their share of the pie has diminished. Electrochemical (think batteries) has grown rapidly since the turn of the millennium. Thermal storage has grown about twice as fast since 2006, overtaking electromechanical in 2013.
Here’s what the power storage types look like on a national basis.
Source: CleanTechnica. Reproduced with permission.