In order to address this fast-growing market — from a modest $200 million in 2012 — developers will need to find the best partners that can improve their capabilities and enable access to new markets against a host of competitors. While technology developers seek out large corporations for support, the multinational conglomerates target startups for technology and IP.
“A strong network replete with complementary technologies, material supplies, and avenues to customers can speed up a company’s progress and buffer it against some unpredictable market dynamics,” said Steve Minnihan, Lux Research Senior Analyst and a contributor to the report, “Finding the Perfect Partner in the Global Grid Storage Market.”
Lux Research analysts evaluated 877 organizations and 949 strategic relationships that form the grid storage partnership. Among their findings:
· Partner or perish environment. In the tumultuous 18 months since September 2011, each of the six market-leading grid storage developers faced at least one major technical or financial issue, with several lower ranking companies seeking acquisitions or packing up and moving east to China. To hedge risks, developers are turning to strong corporate partnerships to stay in business. Having a strong partnership doesn’t guarantee success but averts destruction.
· Networks support technology developers. Of the 877 companies Lux evaluated in the grid storage network, 718 are linked together in a mega-cluster, while 169 remain on the perimeter alone or in strings of isolated relationships. The vast majority (725) are not technology developers but financial, education or government organizations that can help developers build their technological prowess and sales channels.
· Americas losing global share. The Americas account for 49 percent of the existing grid storage market but will lose ground to 26 percent by 2017, representing a $2.7 billion market. Europe, on the other hand, has a miniscule installed cumulative base of active grid storage projects — worth only $34 million and accounting for a mere 3 percent of the world’s installed capacity. However, its demand potential is expected to grow to $3.5 billion, representing 33 percent of the global demand potential by 2017.