In order to ensure the security of energy supply and clean utilization, China has put forward the strategy of the energy revolution. The energy revolution, the implementation of clean and efficient fossil energy technologies have increased access to renewable energy.
But in the natural environment, the wind is large and small, the weather is sunny and cloudy, and the electricity emitted by these devices may sometimes be absent. How difficult will this make the dispatching of the grid? In today's world, a power outage once a day can be maddening, not to mention the possibility of a power outage at any time. Among them, energy storage technology is the core barrier to be broken through.
1. Why the energy storage is needed
In fact, it is well understood what energy storage is. To put it bluntly, it is the storage device of the power system, such as batteries and energy storage power stations. And why develop energy storage? The key is that energy storage can make wind power and photovoltaic power play a major role.
So far, the world has experienced a total of four energy crises, and mankind has gradually clarified the relationship between energy, economic development and social stability. The solution to the energy crisis requires both deployment and consumption, and energy storage is the key to solving this problem.
On the one hand, the peak effect of energy storage can ensure energy security. On the other hand, the peak load balancing function of energy storage can improve the absorption capacity of new energy to achieve the ultimate goal of peak cutting and valley filling and drive the development of the new energy industry.
In order to vigorously develop energy storage, new energy storage has entered the stage of large-scale development from the initial stage of commercialization, and has the conditions for large-scale commercial application. When many cities promote the new model, they will also force the construction of clean energy bases to support 20% of the storage scale.
With energy storage, new energy can be freely connected to the grid. The fan can be turned on at will without any power limit, the microgrid system makes the community safer, the smart grid is no longer just a concept, and energy interconnection will be easy to achieve.
Therefore, to store energy is a key part of replacing fossil energy with new energy, and it is the fulcrum of the transformation of energy utilization. In terms of home energy storage, the most common application of energy storage is to arbitrate the difference between peak and trough electricity prices.
Specifically, by charging the energy storage system at low electricity prices and discharging the energy storage system at high electricity prices, the difference between peak and valley electricity prices can be arbitrated to reduce power costs. For large industrial companies, stores energy can also be used to discharge at peak load times, reducing capacity electricity costs.
2. Technological path explodes
● Electrochemical energy storage
In terms of technology, the widely used classification method for energy storage technology is based on its energy storage form. Energy storage can be divided into: mechanical energy storage, electrochemical energy storage, thermal energy storage and chemical energy storage.
● Mechanical energy storage
As the most mature technology, pumped storage is currently the most widely used technology in the market of store energy, accounting for the highest proportion, but pumped storage is highly dependent on geographical conditions. Despite the trend towards multiple technology paths, lifepo4 battery still occupy an absolute position in new energy storage applications.
In the cumulative installed capacity of new energy storage in the world in 2022, lithium-ion batteries accounted for 86.8%, sodium-ion batteries were only 1.3%, and flow batteries were only 0.9%. In 2022, among the newly installed capacity of new energy storage in China, lithium-ion batteries accounted for 90.7%, flow batteries accounted for 3.5%, compressed air accounted for 1.9%, and the remaining paths did not exceed 1% respectively.
From a cost point of view, pumped storage is currently the most cost-effective long-term energy storage method. Technology is mature, and indicators will not change significantly. If the actual energy storing efficiency of compressed air storage is increased to 70%, its economy is expected to exceed that of pumped storage.
● Battery energy storage
With the acceleration of the industrialization process and the fall in raw material prices, the initial investment cost of lithium-ion energy storage will gradually decline. Sodium ion battery energy storage's economy is expected to exceed the current lithium energy storage. When the initial investment cost is reduced to 2 RMB/Wh, the economy of the flow battery is expected to exceed that of the current lithium-ion battery.
3. Future market space for energy storage
For the future demand for energy storage, there is a view that energy storage will be the next photovoltaic circuit. The rapid development of the landscape, the rapid decline in the cost of energy storage, breaking through the singularity of cost performance, and entering the actual track recognized by the industry. What supports these views is that the growth data for energy storage is very fast.
Although the market of energy storing is still growing rapidly, the market players are growing faster. Since 2022, CATL, TESLA, BYD, and other battery companies have intensively announced capacity-building plans and other trends. In addition to professional battery manufacturers, there are many cross-border energy storage companies.
Although the energy storage market is still in the early stages of development, it has formed an initial competitive pattern, and the market concentration is not low. This also means that new players need to grab market share from battery giants.
4. Product force competition
It is foreseeable that when the boom recedes, the industry will continue to survive the fittest, and gradually form and emerge as mainstream programs. Only in the performance, cost, safety, and technical advantages of the company will the top 10 lithium battery companies in the world stand out. Then, the industry entered full marketization, entering a more realistic technology, product, supply chain, and brand competition.
The core of deciding who can stay in the first tier is the differentiated product force brought by technological advantages. At present, technological competition in the electrochemical energy storage industry is mainly focused on lithium battery research and development, focusing on the upgrading of energy storage cells. As an electrical energy storage unit in the battery, the battery cell is equivalent to the heart of the energy storage system.
It must have a high energy density, and its cycle life directly affects the overall life of the product. The pursuit of larger capacity and higher battery cycles has become a mainstream trend in the current energy storage industry. Taking the Ningde era as an example, after the CATL announced that it had conquered 12,000 ultra-long cycle life batteries, and led various companies to launch energy storage products with more than 12,000 cycle life.
The system uses high temperature cell technology to effectively improve the adaptability of energy storage to a high temperature environment without cooling. Emancipate the dependence of the energy storage battery on the external auxiliary source power supply, and achieve the same light storage life.
The bulk of energy storage demand is still driven by the policy of forced storage, and there is still no general market-oriented business model. Among the technical routes, the lithium ion route in electrochemical energy storage is currently the most promising.
Although there is a large influx of players, the threshold of lithium battery technology is high, and the advantages of pioneer technology are obvious. Under the path of lithium battery technology, it is difficult for new companies to break the original pattern.