Commercialization of energy storage batteries and power stations



The battery is the core part of the electrochemical energy storage system. At present, the mainstream batteries on the market can be roughly divided into lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries and flow batteries according to different technical routes.


The battery response speed and discharge efficiency of different technical routes are different, and they also have their own scope of application and advantages and disadvantages. The future will inevitably see an increase in market-oriented competition and the coexistence of multiple technological routes. 

1. Lithium battery market development

At present, the demand for lithium batteries is growing rapidly, and they are widely used in electric vehicles, backup power systems, and outdoor power supplies. In 2022, lithium battery technology will account for nearly 90% of the new energy storing installed capacity.

Hence the vigorous development of other new technologies such as sodium ion batteries and flow batteries. It is expected that the market share of lithium battery technology in the newly installed capacity will gradually decrease, but it will still maintain the main position. After nearly two decades of development, the lithium-ion battery industry has formed an industrial chain system with a high degree of specialization and a clear division of labor. 

Because the advancement of lithium iron phosphate technology, the energy density of the battery has been improved, the cycle life is more excellent on the lithium battery, and there is a relatively low cost, and the current new large-scale projects to store energy generally give priority to lifepo4 batteries.

Lithium battery market development


Compared with other new technologies to store energy, lithium battery energy storage systems have the outstanding advantage of high energy conversion efficiency. With the continuous improvement of the technical level, the energy conversion efficiency of the lithium battery system will be improved.

2. The overlap of the industrial chain is high

The working principle of sodium ion batteries is the same as that of lithium ion batteries, and they are basically compatible with lithium ion battery production equipment, reducing the difficulty of industrialization. Sodium-ion batteries have excellent performance and are expected to be commercialized in 2023.

It can be applied to large-scale energy stored systems, home energy storage, photovoltaics and so on. The layout of the sodium battery industry chain inherits that of lithium batteries, and although the industrial layout is not yet mature, the current sodium ion battery is about to enter the stage of commercial application.

Key factors determining whether electrochemical energy storage can be applied in a large area include safety, availability of material resources, high and low temperature performance, life, and investment cost. According to the latest research progress on sodium ion batteries, they have shown good performance in these areas.

The high overlap of the industrial chain


After large-scale application, the cost is expected to be lower than that of lithium iron batteries, and it can be widely used in low-speed electric vehicles and other fields, where it is expected to complement and effectively replace lithium-ion batteries.

3. Flow batteries in energy storage

Flow batteries have stable performance and high safety. It has a safe and ultra-long cycle life, making it particularly suitable for large-scale power stations to store energy.

The relatively high cost in the initial stage of commercialization is also expected to be mitigated by large-scale production and technological breakthroughs as more projects increase.

Flow batteries have the characteristics of long life, good safety, large output power, large capacity to store energy, and easy expansion, and are the best solution for energy to storage in the long run.

● Two core advantages

First, safety, which fundamentally avoids explosion; the second is its long life cycle; the active material decay is slow, and the working life is as long as 15 to 20 years.

The weight and volume requirements are not high, and energy density is not a key indicator, making it particularly suitable as a large-scale storage system for energy. Regardless of the battery system, the progress of materials determines the progress of the battery.

Flow batteries in energy storage


In the long cycle of rapid growth from new energy and rapid technological integration, only by ensuring product safety and high-quality product performance can we promote the healthy development of the industry. In addition, reducing the price of the energy system equipment, especially batteries, is an important prerequisite for the commercialization and large-scale application of energy of storage.

4. Economic improvement of power stations

Batteries and storage energy systems are at the heart of power station costs. The investment mainly includes equipment purchase costs, installation engineering costs, construction engineering costs, other expenses, basic preparation costs.

● Independent energy storage project

The standardization and marketization of the new storage industry has accelerated. On the one hand, independent energy storage power stations are more in line with policy orientation, and compared with the business model attached to the power generation side, its power station is more standardized and subjective.

On the other hand, in the context of the market for auxiliary services gradually opening up to independent to store energy, it is expected to meet the needs of multiple parties, such as power generation and the grid.

Economic improvement of power stations


At the same time, the certainty of independent power stations participating in electricity spot market transactions has gradually increased, and the level of project income has been further improved.

● Industrial and commercial power stations

Industrial and commercial power stations for storing energy are the main application on the user side. They have the advantages of small scale, low voltage, and settlement at electricity prices in terms of investment and construction, and the income mainly comes from the electricity cost savings brought by the peak-valley price difference.

In recent years, under the trend of increasing peak-valley price differential, more and more industrial and commercial users with high electricity consumption have  accepted off grid storage batteries for consumption, effectively reducing the two-part electricity tariff expenditure and enhancing their own economic benefits.

5. Composition of power station system

The electrochemical system consists of two parts: the DC side and the AC side. The DC side is the battery warehouse, including batteries, temperature control, fire protection, combiner cabinets, containers, and other equipment, and the AC side is the electrical warehouse, including energy converters, transformers, containers, etc.

Composition of power station system


This battery generates direct current, and in order to interact with the grid, it must be converted to AC and DC via a converter. According to the planning target, the market size will be more than 1 trillion RMB. 

6. Conclusion

Progress in the construction of new projects has accelerated, and the installed scale has achieved sustained and rapid growth. Lithium-ion batteries are undoubtedly one of the fastest commercially available technologies, and the momentum for development is fast.

Lithium battery has the advantages of high energy density, high overall efficiency, fast reaction speed, long service life, and small environmental impact, and is the most adaptable technical route in the current product development.

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