In Utility Scale Energy Storage, Pumped Hydro Storage and CAES Lead the Way: SBI Bulletin

Press Release
Aug 22, 2012

New York, NY - 22 August 2012 - As the most widely implemented power-sector energy storage technology worldwide, pumped hydro storage (PHS) offers the largest amount of GW/hour. According to a recent SBI Bulletin, compressed air energy storage (CAES) closely follows as a massive generator of electricity.

SBI Bulletin: Utility Scale Energy Storage Technologies provides insight into major energy storage technologies that are either currently commercialized or in such advanced stages of development that they are likely to impact energy storage markets 2006-2015. Each technology discussed includes an overview and analysis of select developers and suppliers and detailed information on industry activity. Specific technologies covered include pumped hydro storage, CAES, electrochemical, flywheel, and rechargeable batteries. It also analyzes emerging technologies such as superconducting magnetic energy storage, thermal storage and vehicle to grid.

PHS facilities consist of two water reservoirs at different elevations connected by penstocks of a large diameter pipe, in which water flows through generators, converting it into electricity. In these facilities, the pump-turbines operate over a range of rotation speeds and are able to change electricity generation by up to 70% in the drawdown mode and the amount of water pumped by up to 40% during storage mode; these adjustable speed rotation plants are able to improve efficiency to over 84%.

"These technologies are mature and require a lot of capital and time to build a new facility," said Shelley Carr, Publisher of SBI. "The leading developer in the market is Alstom Power, which generates more than 400GW, or 25% of all hydro plants installed worldwide."

Similar to conventional gas turbines used in power generation, CAES systems use multistage air compression and expansion to generate power. It is capable of generating electricity for several hours at utility-scale capacities above 100MW; globally, installed CAES unit generation capacity is 0.4GW.

"There's a lot of activity for CAES systems, including the development of advanced adiabatic CAES or thermal storage, which we should see by 2015," said Carr. "This technology would reduce the amount of fuel needed for the expansion process, increasing efficiency by up to 70%."

About SBI Bulletins
SBI Bulletins are a new product line from SBI. Launched to meet immediate market information needs at immediate decision making price points, SBI Bulletins offer market data and analysis targeted to specific research interests in heavy industry market verticals energy & resources, manufacturing & construction and materials & chemicals. To learn more,

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Shelley Carr
(240) 747- 3047
[email protected]

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