Tesla’s Battery Business Booms as Energy Storage Demand Grows

In an article for the San Francisco Chronicle, Navigant Research comments on market drivers and how industry players are setting themselves apart

Tesla’s Model 3 is top of mind for most industry onlookers, but behind the automaker’s production struggles, another part of the business is quietly surging. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, sales of Tesla’s stationary batteries grew 450% during the first half of 2018, with global installations capable of storing one gigawatt-hour of electricity, or the output of one commercial nuclear reactor running for an hour.

Demand for the batteries continues to grow, especially in the residential market, and among utility companies as well. Alex Eller, senior research analyst at Navigant Research, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the energy storage market is growing globally. While North America represents roughly 30% of the market, installations are picking up in Asia, particularly in South Korea and Japan, where a heavy reliance on fossil fuel imports exists.

Eller added that Tesla’s competition in this area is healthy, with a variety of other industry players offering similar lithium ion battery cells. Companies, he said, are differentiating themselves through their software, which enables the batteries to provide a variety of operations.

“Shifting solar might be relatively simple,” Eller said. “But there are projects that might provide a number of services, so the software’s really going to be key.”

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