Big growth on tap for spinning reserves market



Quick take: The world is getting more and more renewables, with all the concomitant variability. And the world is getting "peakier" -- that is, in many places, the peaks are getting higher. For these and other reasons, the world will have to have more spinning reserves to steady things out. The big question: How much of it will be typical generation such as natural gas plants and how much from new sources such as AutoDR and energy storage. - Jesse Berst


A new report from Pike Research predicts the total capacity of worldwide spinning reserves for the grid will rise by 40% in the next 10 years. In terms of revenue, Pike anticipates the market will more than double in that same time period -- from $261 million in 2012 to $578 million by 2022.


Those numbers are contained in "Spinning Reserves for the Grid,” Pike's analysis of the global market for spinning reserves.


The report maintains that by 2022, natural gas and coal plants will still account for 93 percent of total spinning reserves capacity, but energy storage will grow to 7 percent of capacity in the same time frame.


"The traditional technologies that deliver spinning reserves, including all types of dispatchable power plants, are mature and well-understood,” says research analyst Anissa Dehamna. "However, energy storage technologies, including pumped storage and newer forms of energy storage, are playing a larger role in this market. As markets begin to differentiate between technologies, such as with pay-for-performance regulations, energy storage technologies will gain market share in the spinning reserves market.”


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Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.

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