Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stationary Battery Market for Telecommunications to grow to $3 Billion in 2017

The world market for stationary batteries used in telecommunication applications is forecast to grow by $550 million from 2013 to 2017, according to recent findings from IHS. This growth is driven largely by increasing demands for reserve power for VDSL outside-plant cabinets and expansion in telecommunications central offices, both of which are predicted to offset a decline in demand from macro base stations. Rapid anticipated growth in LTE networks and data communications is projected to drive the market to $3 billion in 2017.

The stationary battery market for reserve power in telecommunications is fairly mature. Strong growth over the last decade was driven by demand for new macro cellular base station installations. Whilst this trend continues in developing regions, the report from IHS, “The World Market for Stationary Batteries”, predicts an annual decline in demand for stationary batteries used in base stations from 2015. This is due to a predicted annual reduction in the number of macro-type base stations as demand accelerates for micro-, pico- and femto-type base stations, which do not require a large amount of reserve power.  Additional antennas at base station locations are also likely to share existing macro base station reserve power resources.

Strong growth in the demand for stationary batteries is, however, forecast for other important parts of this sector.

While IHS isre predicting a slight decline in demand for batteries for base stations from 2015, the continued increase in demand for advances in cellular and broadband communications is projected to drive strong growth in reserve power for central office and cable TV (CATV)/broadband head-end and outside-plant back-up installations. The CATV/outside-plant market alone is forecast to generate an additional $600 million from 2013 to 2017.

Although lead-acid batteries - mostly valve-regulated (VRLA) types - will account for almost all stationary battery revenues in telecommunication applications in 2013, this shift in demand is also predicted to drive adoption of lithium-ion batteries in this sector. It is predicted that some central offices will be unable to expand and add the additional physical space required to meet the reserve power demands of LTE and data communication network expansion. Medium- and large-format lithium-ion stationary batteries, although more expensive, offer the advantage of a smaller footprint and therefore can provide a solution. IHS forecasts a phased adoption, however; with central offices adding strings of lithium-ion batteries to existing installations as needed, rather than a mass transition. A market for lithium-ion stationary batteries in telecommunication applications worth $40 million is projected in 2017.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

California Sets Energy Storage Mandate: 1.3 MW by 2020

In October, The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established an energy storage target of 1,325 megawatts for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric by 2020, with installations required no later than the end of 2024. This is the first energy storage mandate in the U.S.

The guiding principles of today’s decision are 1) the optimization of the grid, including peak reduction, contribution to reliability needs, or deferment of transmission and distribution upgrade investments; 2) the integration of renewable energy; and, 3) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, per California’s goals.

The decision directs the utilities to file separate procurement applications containing a proposal for their first energy storage procurement period by March 1, 2014.

The decision further establishes a target for Community Choice Aggregators and electric service providers to procure energy storage equal to 1 percent of their annual 2020 peak load by 2020 with installation no later than 2024, consistent with the requirements for the utilities.

“This decision represents an important first step in encouraging the storage market and supporting grid reliability,” said Commissioner Carla J. Peterman, the lead Commissioner for this proceeding.
Added Commissioner Mike Florio, “This decision implements Assembly member Skinner’s vision that the deployment of energy storage in California can both help achieve our energy policies and operate the grid. As California looks ahead to meeting needs due to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and retirement of conventional generation, I look forward to the role that energy storage can begin to play in our mix of resources.”

“Energy storage has the potential to be a game changer for our electric grid, and I fully support the goals of grid optimization, integration of renewable energy, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Commissioner Mark J. Ferron. “As the utilities procure storage, we should evaluate the projects on whether or not they fulfill a system need at a reasonable cost.” 

Also, check out this nice article in the San Jose Mercury News: “California adopts first-in-nation energy storage plan.”

Terrajoule Lands $11.5million in Funding for Energy Storage, Distributed Energy Generation

Terrajoule, developers of a flexible technology platform for distributed energy generation, energy storage (at a cost five times lower than today’s batteries), and energy efficiency, announced an $11.5 million Series A round of funding. Investors include global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA); Air Liquide Investments in the future And Demonstration (ALIAD),  the capital development company of Air Liquide; and individual investors.  Air Liquide is a world leader in gases for industry, health, and the environment.

“Terrajoule’s energy storage solution removes a fundamental obstacle to the next few decades of sustainable energy growth worldwide,” said Arno Penzias, NEA Venture Partner, Nobel Prize winner (Physics 1978) and Terrajoule advisor. “Since NEA’s initial investment in 2009, the company has made outstanding technological progress, and we’re excited to partner with Terrajoule in its next stage of growth.”

NEA General Partner Forest Baskett added, “In addition to the core technology, we really like Terrajoule’s approach to the market. By working through channel partners in industrial, agricultural and other sectors, the company can scale to play a major role in worldwide energy markets without the massive capital requirements that have posed significant challenges to other new energy technologies.”

ALIAD, part of Air Liquide’s Advanced Business and Technologies network, is the Air Liquide subsidiary dedicated to investing in young innovative companies offering differentiating technologies. The Terrajoule technology that converts waste heat to valuable electricity provides Air Liquide with the means of increasing energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of hydrogen units while improving competitive financial factors.

Terrajoule’s technology platform leverages a breakthrough in energy storage technology yielding a cost five times lower than today’s batteries and without degradation or cycle limitations over a 25-year system life. The result is continuous, on-demand solar power generation, from 100 kW to 20 MW, with a compelling payback compared to diesel-based off-grid and on-grid power. The company is targeting a number of applications in the industrial and agricultural sectors including distributed electricity production, especially in locations with electrical grids that are inadequate to support economic growth, and waste heat recovery to improve the efficiency of industrial operations.

An essential characteristic of the Terrajoule system is its ability to rapidly respond to changes in load, functioning equivalently to the diesel generators it replaces, and without volatile fuel costs. Energy storage is based on pressurized saturated water, with 98% storage/retrieval efficiency. Energy conversion is performed via reciprocating steam piston engines that are highly efficient across a wide range of operating power. The system generates steam through mature solar concentrator technology.
“Developing a game-changing energy storage solution, is about more than technology. We’ve focused on building the right value proposition, market channels, and capital partners to build a business with global reach and scale without depending on government subsidies,” said Steve Bisset, Terrajoule Co-Founder and CEO. “With our early customer successes, the ongoing support of NEA, and now in partnership with Air Liquide, we are excited bring the Terrajoule innovation in energy storage to key global markets.”

Other major investors in the round include Jim Bochnowski (Menlo Park, California) and Craig Winkler (Australia). Greg Fleming, an investment director at Air Liquide, has joined Terrajoule’s board of directors.

Terrajoule Corporation, headquartered in Redwood City, CA, was founded in 2009 to extend the worldwide reach and penetration of renewable energy, by solving the fundamental problem of intermittent supply of solar and wind power.  Terrajoule has demonstrated 24/7 solar power with a distributed industrial-scale power plant and is currently developing the technology for volume production in 2015.  Terrajoule’s key partnerships include JKB Energy of Turlock, CA, a leading supplier of solar power systems to agriculture and industry, and Roush Industries of Livonia, Michigan, a leading developer of automotive and energy systems.

NEA is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With more than $13 billion in committed capital, the firm invests in information technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. NEA’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 175 portfolio company IPOs and more than 300 acquisitions. For additional information, visit

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two British entrepreneurs have been awarded a share of over $8million to spur innovation in energy storage.

Two British entrepreneurs have been awarded a share of over £5million ($8million) to spur on innovation in energy storage, U.K.'s Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma announced.

Contracts have been awarded to REDT UK Ltd and Moixa Technology Ltd, as part of the U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change’s innovation competition to support energy storage research and demonstration.

REDT UK Ltd has developed a technology to store electricity from wind turbines, and Moixa Energy Ltd has developed small battery-based storage units which could be installed directly into people’s homes to store power and re-use it at times of peak demand.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma said: “This investment will give these organisations the boost they need to develop energy storage designs, helping cut costs and bringing new technologies to market in this sector. The ability to store energy in this way will become increasingly important in the move towards a low carbon economy and I wish the winning organisations every success with their projects.”

Simon Daniel, CEO and founder of Moixa Technology said: “Energy storage aims to help customers save money and reduce peak energy demand, by using low carbon, night, wind and solar resources. Government’s funding will ensure that we can continue our work to make energy storage cost-effective for wide deployment.”

Gary Simmonds, Head of Operations, REDT UK Ltd said: “The timing of DECC’s energy storage competition is ideal for the company’s next stage of development - to design, build, and demonstrate larger scale, lower cost energy storage systems. The provision of such government support is clearly acknowledged as instrumental in allowing REDT to maintain its position at the forefront of this vital energy storage industry.”

DECC supports innovation in low carbon technologies to help meet the Department’s goal of delivering secure energy on the way to a low carbon energy future.

REDT, based in Wokingham, research and develop a technology to store electricity from wind turbines. DECC has awarded REDT a contract totalling approximately £3.6m to carry out this research.

London-based Moixa Technology Ltd has developed small battery-based storage units, which could be installed directly into people’s homes to store power and re-use it at peak demand times. Moixa will use their funding from DECC to install and demonstrate their storage units in about 300 homes across the UK. Moixa has been awarded a contract for approximately £1.5m to carry out its demonstration project.

A further three organisations have won a share of £900,000 under the second round of the energy storage systems component research and feasibility studies competition. The winning companies will use the funding to improve materials used for energy storage systems or to carry out research that explores the application of energy storage systems in the UK electricity networks. The three projects are:

  • Kiwa GASTEC at CRE - awarded a grant of £400,000 to investigate safety issues surrounding the use of hydrogen as an energy storage vector.
  • Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd - awarded a grant of £396,541 to develop and scale up a new battery technology for residential and community energy storage systems.
  • EA Technology Ltd - awarded a grant of £104,325 to develop a Good Practice Guide on electrical energy storage for use in the UK electricity networks and beyond.