China to Take Leadership Position on Energy Storage in East Asia-Pacific Region, World Bank Says

China likely will become the largest energy storage market in the East Asia & Pacific region, with a potential to install about 9 GW of utility-scale and behind-the-meter systems in 2025, according to the World Bank.

In its latest report on energy storage trends and opportunities in emerging markets, World Bank said that the Chinese economy has been opening to foreign investment and free market forces over the past several decades, and this trend is accelerating. Furthermore, China is in the process of reforming its energy markets to allow non-state owned power providers to enter the market, opening opportunities for IPPs to provide ancillary and capacity services with energy storage.

Emerging markets in the East Asian & Pacific face urgent power supply issues, and face significant challenges in developing energy storage. Those challenges, according to the report, include low electrification, an underdeveloped power grid infrastructure, and a lack of capital to underwrite new technologies to advance power grid services.

Outside of the developed markets of Japan, South Korea, Australia, there are currently 28,610 MW of energy storage systems deployed in East Asia & Pacific, the report said.

In South Asia, there have been very few energy storage market developments outside of India, and deployments are expected to be limited over the coming decade.

The Promise of Latin America

The report said that Latin America is one of the most attractive emerging markets for energy storage development, as the market moves to install significant amounts of solar and wind by 2020. There is about 1 GW of energy storage capacity installed in the region, mostly coming from pumped storage hydro in Argentina, according to the report.

“The battery energy storage market has been gaining traction, with three large-scale systems commissioned in Chile and El Salvador over the past three years, developed by AES Energy Storage and Altairnano, accounting for 42 MW of capacity,” the report said. “The regional pipeline of storage projects continues to grow with a diverse set of technologies, including battery, compressed air, flywheel, pumped storage, and thermal energy storage projects.”

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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