It seems the battery (energy storage) industry is going through the same process as the PV industry – rapid expansion accompanied by a substantial decline in prices. According to a new tracker report from Navigant Research, shipments of advanced battery cells reached 6.7 billion in 2013 – a 10 percent increase over 2012 shipments. The demand for batteries as an alternative means to power vehicles, grid management equipment, and devices increased in multiple industries around the world.
“While the battery industry saw significant increases in the overall number of batteries shipped and the energy capacity they represent, revenue growth was modest because of declining prices,” says Sam Jaffe, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “The center of the advanced battery industry remains in China, where the majority of these batteries were manufactured and shipped around the world.”
In terms of power capacity, the world consumed 40.1 gigawatts (GW) of batteries in 2013, the vast majority of which were used to power small devices. This number is significantly higher than the 28.6 GW of power capacity sold in 2012, according to the report. The primary reason for this growth is increased sales of automotive batteries, which have a much higher power-to-energy ratio when compared to other battery applications.