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Energy storage-Ballast for global energy transition

Wind Energy

The process of achieving “carbon neutrality” in countries around the world is the transition process of clean energy gradually replacing traditional fossil energy, among which water, wind and solar energy are expected to be the most promising.

From a global perspective, energy storage is mainly distinguished into traditional energy storage and new energy storage, the former mainly refers to pumped energy storage, while the latter includes electrochemical energy storage and compressed air energy storage, etc.

Energy Storage

  As a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, energy prices in Europe have continued to rise this year, leading to a rapid increase in residential electricity prices, which has stimulated a surge in demand for residential energy storage, coupled with the rapid growth of the American market, making the overseas energy storage market high boom. Accordingly; Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) made the latest forecast, by the end of 2030 the global cumulative deployment of installed energy storage scale will surge, while BNEF stressed that the 20th century will be the “era of energy storage”.

  Countries around the world to achieve “carbon neutral” process is a clean energy gradually replace the traditional fossil energy transition process, in which water, wind and solar energy is the most hope, but there is a total bottleneck constraints on water resources, so wind and solar energy will play the most important role in diluting traditional thermal power and create the future of green power.

  However, light energy and wind energy are unstable power sources, such as wind energy power intra-day fluctuations of up to 80%, the peak of the power appears in the early morning, after the afternoon to the lowest point, “reverse load” characteristics are very obvious. The intra-day fluctuation of light energy is up to 100%, reaching the peak of the day at noon, before and after noon are uniformly falling trend, night power to 0, peak and valley characteristics are distinct. In addition, light energy is also susceptible to weather, the weather is cloudy or sunny on the actual active power release of light energy is very obvious.

  It is the fluctuating, intermittent and random characteristics of wind and light energy that lead to unstable power output on the power generation side, and also make it difficult to achieve distribution balance on the grid side, while the demand on the customer side cannot be accurately and timely responded to and satisfied, and the volatility of the whole power system is obvious.

  However, energy storage can completely eliminate the worries of converting clean energy into green power. On the one hand, the surplus energy will be collected and stored during the time when wind and solar energy are abundant or when electricity consumption is low, while the reserve energy will be released when power energy enters low tide or when electricity consumption is at its peak, so as to ensure that each unit of clean energy is fully utilized and developed, and to maximize the effect of wind and light energy consumption; on the other hand, storing wind and light energy can both greatly reduce and shield the subsequent unexpected interference of weather factors, thus enhancing the continuity and stability of power transmission on the generation side.

  At the same time, with the help of energy storage, the power grid side (enterprise) can be in the power supply side of the peak when the low price to buy electricity, electricity side of the high demand when the high price to sell electricity, in the peak and fill the valley at the same time, but also greatly improve the flexibility of the power grid system; In addition, whether it is the power generation side or the power grid side or the user side, the use of energy storage power can be in power shortage and high electricity prices through the power trading market paid to give out and In addition, whether on the power generation side or on the grid side or on the customer side, the power generated by using energy storage can be given away for a fee and profited from the power trading market when the power is scarce and the price is high.

  Comprehensive evaluation, the stronger the substitution of clean energy for fossil energy, the more difficult the balance of power supply and demand, but the use of energy storage can be throughout the risk of clean energy substitution, and even energy storage can be seen as the ballast of the energy transition.

  From a global perspective, energy storage is mainly distinguished into traditional energy storage and new energy storage, the former mainly refers to pumping energy storage, while the latter includes electrochemical energy storage and compressed air energy storage. Pumping energy storage is the use of mechanical pumping equipment to pump water from low to high, when needed for hydroelectric power generation; while electrochemical energy storage is the use of high-power and high-performance battery positive and negative electrodes to store and discharge electricity, compressed air energy storage is mainly used to compress the remaining electricity when the grid load is low, and will be stored in high-pressure sealed facilities, released at the peak of electricity consumption to drive gas turbines to generate electricity.

  From the global installed scale and market share, the current cumulative installed scale of pumped energy storage is the largest, the cumulative installed scale of electrochemical energy storage ranks second, and the landed layout of compressed air energy storage projects ranks third.

  Although pumped energy storage is currently the most important way of energy storage, and both the technology accumulation and business model are more mature, but pumped energy storage is strictly limited by the geographical potential space, not only slow start-up, long construction cycle, and limited resource endowment and high cost.

  In contrast, electrochemical energy storage is basically not disturbed by external conditions, fast response time, flexible construction projects, and more importantly, as the most widely laid out varieties of electrochemical energy storage, lithium storage is not only a mature process, and the marginal trend of cost reduction is becoming more and more significant, thus driving down the cost of the entire lithium energy storage.

  According to BNEF estimates, the global cost of lithium storage is about $1.66/watt-hour in 2022 and is expected to drop to about $1.29/watt-hour in 2025. Thus, it seems inevitable that electrochemical energy storage will eventually replace the dominance of pumped energy storage.

  The data show that by the end of 2021, the cumulative installed size of global pumped energy storage declined by 4.1% year-on-year, while the share of electrochemical energy storage increased to 12.2%, with a cumulative installed size of 25.4GW, an increase of 67.7% year-on-year.

  In terms of electrochemical energy storage, lithium-ion batteries currently have a market share of more than 90%, although another sodium battery, which acts as an energy storage carrier, may later take over.

  Data show that sodium accounts for up to 2.75% of the earth’s crust and is distributed around the world, while lithium is only 0.0065% in comparison, mainly in the Americas. Also reflected in the price, the price of sodium is only $0.29 / kg, while the price of lithium is currently about $21.5 / kg, the cost of raw materials for sodium batteries compared to lithium batteries is 30% – 40% lower.

  In addition, sodium ion batteries can achieve a discharge retention rate of more than 90% in the low temperature environment of -20 ℃, -40 ℃ low temperature can release more than 70% of the capacity, high temperature 80 ℃ can also be used for cyclic charging and discharging, project landing and scenario applications more flexible, so sodium batteries to replace lithium batteries will be the trend, the same conclusion also applies to longer life, higher safety and resource-rich vanadium batteries The same conclusion also applies to new batteries such as vanadium batteries with longer life, higher safety and abundant resources.

Energy Storage

  Compared with electrochemical energy storage, although the scale of compressed air energy storage is much lower, but Germany, the United States has actually begun commercial development and application, the initial main use of low-valley low-quality electricity, air compression and storage in large storage caves, in the peak of electricity, high-pressure air from the storage cave release, the same fuel combustion to drive the expansion machine to generate electricity, but the traditional compressed air energy storage dependent on fossil fuels, dependent on The shortcomings of natural gas storage caves restrict the expansion space. For the relevant bottleneck factors, countries around the world are actively developing new compressed air energy storage technology, such as thermal storage compressed air energy storage system, isothermal compressed air energy storage system and liquefied air energy storage system.

  At present, the new compressed air energy storage in terms of function, cost, life and performance have been basically equivalent to pumped energy storage, but also highlights the advantages of large scale, long life, non-pollution, long duration and flexibility, is a very high potential development of energy storage technology.

  Whether it is pumped energy storage, electrochemical energy storage or compressed air energy storage, they all form a closely related and complete industrial chain. Upstream there are raw materials and production equipment; midstream there are energy storage project construction and integration systems consisting of battery packs, battery management systems (in charge of battery status), energy management systems (in charge of energy dispatch) and energy storage converters (in charge of current conversion), etc., and downstream there are energy storage product installation and end users, etc.

  For the major global economies, not only do they have to compete for the high-end discourse of the industry chain, such as the standard control of products and projects, but also for the value-added trade of the industry chain, such as the ability to export products and technical services, and the setting of access barriers to protect their industries and products, etc. Therefore, the new energy storage, which seems to be based on the common vision of “carbon neutrality” of human beings, is inevitably marked by competition. Therefore, the new energy storage, which seems to be based on the common vision of “carbon neutrality”, is inevitably marked with competitive symbols.

  Scanning the world, some major energy storage promotion and application countries generally support energy storage market development by providing subsidies, investment tax credits and other measures in their policy mechanisms.

  In the U.S., the federal government’s Investment Tax Credit (ITC) policy supports ITC rebates of up to 30% for energy storage systems above 5 kWh, while the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) subsidies for customer-side distributed energy storage are extended through 2026, and the Better Energy Storage Technology Act (BEST) provides $1 billion for innovation in research, development and demonstration of energy storage technologies over the next five years. billion in funding support.

  In Germany, not only has the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) removed the subsidy limit of 52 GW of installed PV capacity, but the EEG tax paid by domestic electricity consumers for clean energy incentives will be reduced by €0.25 per kWh starting in 2021 and will fall by a further €0.0625 in 2023. In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has set aside a budget of about $98.3 million this year to subsidize 66% of the cost of installing lithium-ion batteries in homes and businesses; in the UK, in addition to removing the 49 MW cap on energy storage licenses, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio Fund have been set up for a total of £1.246 billion. “In the UK, in addition to lifting the 49 MW license cap, a total of £1.246 billion of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio Fund were established to provide special assistance and support for energy storage technologies.

  Subject to the collection and pry of multiple competitive forces, global energy storage has entered the fast track of scaling up the volume. According to data, in 2021, the global installed capacity of new energy storage projects will be 18.3GW, an increase of 9% year-on-year, and by the end of 2021, the cumulative installed capacity of energy storage projects in operation will be 209.4GW. According to research firm HIS Markit, the total installed capacity of energy storage systems deployed worldwide will exceed 12GW in 2022. It is noteworthy that in the global energy storage pattern, the United States, China and Europe are the three major head of the square is obvious, the three include the global energy storage installed capacity of 80%, and this trend will be further strengthened in the future.

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