Energy storage is an essential component of building a new power system. According to the form of energy storage, energy storage includes electric energy storage, thermal energy storage and hydrogen energy storage. Electric energy storage is divided into electrochemical energy storage and mechanical energy storage.
Electrochemical energy storage refers to secondary battery energy storage, including lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, lead batteries, and flow batteries. Mechanical energy storage includes gravity energy storage, pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage and flywheel energy storage. Electrochemical energy storage is developing rapidly, among which lithium-ion battery energy storage cells have become the mainstream technology route.
1. Introduction to energy storage cells
Energy storage cells are the value center of the energy storage system industry chain, accounting for 60% of the energy storage system cost. The energy storage system is mainly composed of energy storage battery pack, power conversion system(PCS), energy management system (EMS), battery management system (BMS), etc.
Among them, the energy storage battery pack is the most important part, accounting for 60% of the value of the entire energy storage equipment. Compared with other upstream links of energy storage equipment, energy storage cells have the characteristics of high technical barriers and strong scale effect
2. Concerns and technology development trends of energy storage cells
● The core concerns of energy storage cells: safety, cycle times
Safety is the core concern of energy storage cells. The electrochemical materials of batteries play a key role in the safety of energy storage. The development and use of flame-retardant and non-combustible battery materials is the first line of defense for building a safe battery system.
The cycle number of energy storage cells is of great importance. Cycle life directly affects the cost of energy storage systems. According to related technologies, when the cycle life of the energy storage battery increases from 4000 times to 7000 times, the cost of energy storage per unit of electricity can be reduced from 0.7 RMB to 0.43 RMB, basically showing a linear relationship.
● The development trend of battery technology: lithium iron phosphate has become the mainstream route, and the attention of product cycle times has increased
Material selection: Lithium iron phosphate has become the mainstream route in China. Energy storage batteries focus on cost reduction and long life. Lithium battery performance requirements include energy density, power density, cost, life and safety. Energy storage applications have relaxed requirements on the energy density and power density of batteries, and more emphasis has been placed on reducing the cost of distribution and storage of electricity. Energy storage batteries must have low cost, long life, and ensure the safety of battery applications. The performance of lfp battery has a high degree of adaptation to energy storage needs and has become the mainstream route.
Capacity: Large batteries cells have become the mainstream. Large-scale energy storage systems include power generation side, grid side energy storage, etc., and the energy storage cells used are mainly large-capacity square cells. In energy storage applications, large-capacity batteries cells of 280Ah and above can effectively reduce the cost of energy storage systems and reduce the difficulty of integration. They have obvious advantages and are gradually replacing the original 50Ah and 100Ah battery cells products in power storage scenarios.
- On the demand side: Downstream attention to 280Ah large cells is rapidly increasing. Owners such as Huaneng and China Energy Construction all require a cell capacity of no less than 280Ah in their latest energy storage battery bidding.
- Supply side: Since CATL launched 280Ah battery cells in 2019, more than 10 domestic battery cell companies have launched 280Ah battery products.
Process: The penetration rate of lamination process is rapidly increasing. Laminated batteries theoretically have the advantages of higher volumetric energy density upper limit, more stable internal structure and longer cycle life. It has a higher matching degree with the production process of large-capacity batteries cells, but there are disadvantages such as high equipment investment cost, low yield rate, insufficient efficiency, and difficult process. It is predicted that after the capacity of energy storage cells increases to more than 300Ah, the field of energy storage will become a new growth pole for shipments of laminated batteries after pouch batteries.
3. Market size of energy storage cells
Demand side: Benefiting from the high prosperity of the energy storage industry, the demand for energy storage cells has increased rapidly. The market size in 2025 will be about 330 billion. The demand for energy storage installed capacity will be reflected in the demand for batteries cell in advance. It is estimated that the global demand for energy storage installed capacity will reach 504.71Gwh in 25 years, and the market space for shipments is expected to be about 333.109 billion.
Supply side: In 2025, the overall market supply and demand are expected to be basically balanced, but there is still a gap in high-quality production capacity. Power batteries and energy storage batteries have collinear planning. From the perspective of the global market, the production capacity of the two is expected to reach 4000Gwh by 2025, of which pure energy storage battery production lines account for about 10%.
It is judged that the overall market supply and demand will be basically balanced in 2025, but the high-quality production capacity of the head is expected to be relatively scarce, and companies with real product capabilities are expected to expand their market share.
4. Competitive landscape of the energy storage cells market
● China has become the main supplier of global energy storage batteries
From 2020 to 2021, the global energy storage battery market structure will undergo drastic changes, and Chinese battery companies have become the main suppliers. It is expected that the gap between the shipments of Chinese battery companies and overseas brands will continue to widen in the next two years.
● Obvious industry head effect
Industry companies are mainly power battery factories, with BYD and CATL leading the way. No further upward trend is currently exhibited.
● The production capacity echelon is basically formed, but the internal competition pattern is not stable
China's energy storage battery cell companies, except for CATL and BYD, which are firmly in the top two, the rankings among other brands are still changing. New entrants are rapidly iterating on the technical route, and at the same time have excellent product nominal indicators, forming differentiated competition, and are expected to scale up extremely fast.
5. Future prospects of energy storage cells market
The marginal improvement of the environment and the recovery of profitability. The cost of energy storage cells accounts for a very high proportion of the energy storage system, and the price of the cells directly affects the economics of the energy storage system. As the upstream lithium price falls, the profitability of cell companies is expected to improve. It is expected that the industry will experience a reshuffle in the future.
From a longer-term perspective, as the long-term attributes of energy storage cells products are tested on the client side. With the release of superimposed production capacity, the industry will experience the process of clearing outdated production capacity, and companies with strong product capabilities are expected to increase their market share in this process.
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