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Report: Energy storage market to double by 2015

Lux Research predicts batteries, fuel cells, and ultracapacitors for vehicles and smart grids will grow to a $44.4 billion market by 2015.

The market for electric-vehicle energy storage devices is expected to grow from $7.7 billion in 2010 to $14.5 billion in 2015, according to a report from Lux Research. But that's not the most interesting part of the analyst report that was released last month with seemingly little notice from the media.

Lux Research said that the predicted big growth in the overall market for batteries, fuel cells, and ultracapictors is not going to come from an increase in electric vehicles, but from the explosion of smart grids. In its report "Emerging Technologies Power a $44 Billion Opportunity for Transportation and Grid," Lux Research predicts that the overall market will grow from $21.4 billion in 2010 to $44.4 billion by 2015.

Smart-grid storage will make up the largest energy storage market growing from $5.4 billion in 2010 to $15.8 billion in 2015, according to Lux Research.

There will also be a pointed increase in growth for plug-in and electric-vehicle batteries, but not exactly in the area one might think. Batteries made for electric bikes and scooters will grow from a $6.4 billion market in 2010 to $10.9 billion in 2015, as the vehicles themselves increase in popularity.

"Policy makers, auto manufacturers and the media have locked their attention on battery technologies for plug-in and electric vehicles. But in fact e-bikes and scooters will drive the biggest growth for these batteries in the next five years," Jacob E. Grose, Lux Research analyst and the report's lead author, said in a statement.

The Lux Research report concurs with data already out there.

Pike Research predicted in October that lithium ion batteries for utility energy storage would be a $1 billion industry by 2018. The U.S. Department of Energy in November announced it was granting $620 million in stimulus funds along with $1 billion in private industry funds for 32 U.S. smart-grid programs. At the time, it also announced another $770 million from various government and corporate sources would be used to fund energy storage projects.