June 10, 2021: The US has set another record for energy storage deployments, this time in Q1, bringing 910MWh online in 2021, says Wood Mackenzie in a report out on June 8.
Last year’s first quarter total was beaten by 252%, and this is just the start of it — WoodMac forecasts that 2021 will notch up 12,000MWh of new storage over the whole year, three times the amount added last year.
However Q1 2021 pales into insignificance when compared with the last quarter of 2020, in which around 2.25GWh of storage was deployed – around 2GWh of this front-of-meter.
Residential storage deployments fall behind front-of-meter in terms of capacity deployed. However, more residential storage was deployed in Q1 for any quarter on record and the market segment has grown for nine consecutive quarters.
“Back-up power to complement rooftop solar systems has become the key selling point for residential battery systems in all US markets,” said analyst Chloe Holden. “Although other states also have growing markets, California will continue to lead the residential segment by a significant margin through 2026.”
One factor which is likely to spur growth even more in the US is the introduction of a standalone storage investment tax credit (ITC), which if passed by the US Congress would mean Wood Mackenzie would increase its five-year forecast by up to 25%.
“An extra 20%-25% growth for the US market over the next five years would supercharge an already fast-growing energy storage market,” said Holden. “The front-of-meter segment would see the largest incremental growth, with an extra 6GW of capacity expected through 2025, which is 25% of our base case market forecast.
“Without the ITC, we forecast that the front-of-meter segment will add 3,674MW in 2021 and 6,915MW in 2026.”
The report said commercial and community-scale installations were not growing in the same way, with just 25MW-35MW of new projects being installed in each of the last five quarters.