That’s the the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which forecasts the battery market may be valued at $250 billion or more by 2040. It expects 25 gigawatts of the devices to be deployed by 2028, about the size of the small-scale photovoltaic industry now.
The findings in the researcher’s New Energy Outlook indicate a further challenge to the traditional utility business model, where power generation and distribution are monopolized in a single company. Energy storage devices can be used to smooth out variable power flows from wind and solar plants, reducing the need for large, centralized generation plants fired by fossil fuels.
“Batteries will get a boost as costs drop and developers see the chance for lucrative new revenue streams,” said Julia Attwood, storage analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Batteries could offer a whole range of services to the grid — they have the flexibility that will allow renewables a larger stake in energy generation.”
Currently, less than 1 gigawatt of batteries are operating on the grid around the world. By 2040, the industry will mushroom, storing and discharging 759 gigawatt-hours, BNEF estimates.