NEW YORK Lead-acid batteries will account for just 30 percent of the grid storage market by 2018, with the commercialization of new technologies, such as sodium-sulfur batteries, set to make further inroads, according to a new study.
The grid-storage market will reach $6.1 billion by 2018, with a wave of storage deployment about to occur on the customer side of the meter for power-quality, peak-shaving and grid-stability applications, market research and industry analysis firm NanoMarkets said.
The default option for grid batteries today is lead-acid, accounting for more than 55 percent of revenues from grid batteries currently. By 2018, this share will decline to around 30 percent as new grid battery technologies become commercialized, the company said.
However, lead-carbon batteries and ultra-batteries, which feature combination lead-carbon electrodes, will account for $300 million in revenue by 2018.
Lithium-ion batteries will reach $775 million in revenue by 2018, but the report noted that while the technology is receiving considerable attention, it is immature and high-cost, and its current growth relies on government subsidies.
When subsidies disappear, sodium-sulfur and Zebra (sodium-nickel-chloride) batteries will be a better deal for power companies and large end-users than lithium-ion. The best hope for lithium batteries is where a supplier who is committed to lithium sells it as part of a comprehensive solution, such as for smart buildings. Johnson Controls Inc. and Saft (SA) are doing this, the report said.