Lithium battery for energy storage has gradually become a new outlet for entrepreneurship
Release time: 2018-02-07
China Energy Storage Network News: The lithium battery market is surging and undercurrents are surging.
Recently, "New Energy Storage Capital" heard that many big power battery manufacturers have come out to start businesses and make lithium batteries for energy storage. People's first reaction is usually, why did they choose this direction? Are there any entrepreneurial opportunities in this direction?
First, let's take a look at the current status of lithium batteries for energy storage. According to the statistics of the Energy Storage Application Branch of the China Chemical and Physical Power Supply Society, in 2021, the installed capacity of electrochemical energy storage in China will be 5117.1MW/10498.7MWh, of which the installed capacity of lithium-ion battery energy storage technology will be 4658.9MW/8254.2MWh, and the power capacity will account for 91.0%. %
So, are the 8254.2MWh installed in 2021 all lithium batteries dedicated to energy storage? At present, there is no authoritative and reliable statement on this issue. However, according to the research and interviews of "New Energy Storage Capital", there are still relatively few domestic lithium battery manufacturers for energy storage.
According to incomplete statistics, among the major power battery manufacturers, there may only be large manufacturers such as Ningde Times and Yiwei Lithium Energy that have special energy storage battery R&D teams and production lines outside the power battery production line; In addition to batteries, there are also companies that mainly focus on lithium batteries for energy storage, such as Paineng Technology, which specializes in overseas household energy storage cells, and Haichen New Energy and Haichen New Energy, which specializes in lithium battery cells for non-household energy storage. Base New Energy, Tianhui Lithium Battery, Kunyu New Energy, etc.
Despite this, many of the batteries used in the domestic energy storage market are still not special batteries for energy storage, but are still power batteries or their modifications. That is to say, in cognition and practice, power cells and energy storage cells are not particularly clearly distinguished in the market. So can power cells be directly used in energy storage scenarios? What are the essential differences between power lithium batteries and energy storage lithium batteries?
From the perspective of application scenarios, power lithium batteries are mainly used in electric vehicles, electric bicycles, tricycles and other power tools, while energy storage lithium batteries are mainly used in peak regulation and frequency regulation power auxiliary services, renewable energy grid-connected consumption and industrial and commercial storage. energy, microgrid and other fields.
Different application scenarios have different performance requirements for batteries. If the requirements of lithium battery for energy storage can be summed up in one sentence, it is high safety, long life and low cost.
First of all, due to the frequent occurrence of safety accidents in energy storage power stations, lithium batteries for energy storage do not require high energy density but high safety requirements. As a mobile power source, the power lithium battery has the highest requirements for the volume (and mass) energy density under the premise of safety, so as to achieve a longer endurance. At the same time, users also hope that electric vehicles can be safely and quickly charged, so power lithium batteries have high requirements for energy density and power density, just because of safety considerations, energy-based batteries with a charge and discharge capacity of about 1C are generally used.
Most energy storage devices do not need to be moved, so energy storage lithium batteries have no direct requirements for energy density. As for power density, different energy storage scenarios have different requirements.
For power peak regulation, off-grid photovoltaic energy storage or user-side peak-valley price difference energy storage scenarios, the energy storage battery generally needs to be continuously charged or discharged for more than two hours, so it is suitable to use a capacity battery with a charge-discharge rate of ≤0.5C ; For the energy storage scenarios of power frequency regulation or smoothing the fluctuation of renewable energy, the energy storage battery needs to be quickly charged and discharged in the time period from seconds to minutes, so it is suitable for the application of ≥ 2C power batteries; For peak shaving application scenarios, energy-based batteries are more suitable. Of course, power-based and capacity-based batteries can also be used together in this scenario.
Since energy storage cells have higher requirements for safety, this requires battery companies to make certain innovations in materials and structures to meet market demand.
Secondly, lithium batteries for energy storage have higher requirements for calendar life and cycle life. The lifespan of new energy vehicles is generally 5-8 years, while the lifespan of energy storage projects is generally expected to be greater than 10 years. The cycle life of the power lithium battery is 1000-300 times, while the cycle life of the energy storage lithium battery is generally required to be at least 3500 times. So we see that the Ningde era is developing cells with a cycle life of 10,000 times.
Third, lithium batteries for energy storage are more sensitive to cost. Facing competition with traditional fuel power sources, lithium batteries for energy storage need to face the cost competition of traditional peak and frequency regulation technologies. The scale of energy storage power stations is basically above the megawatt level or even 100 megawatts, so the cost of energy storage lithium batteries is lower than that of power lithium batteries.
It can be seen that there is a major difference in performance requirements between power lithium batteries and energy storage lithium batteries.
Although this difference is not an innovation in the battery material system from 3C batteries to power batteries, stimulated by the huge imagination space of the energy storage battery market, based on the same material system, "higher safety", "more There is still huge room for business imagination brought by performance innovations such as "long lifespan" and "lower cost".
According to third-party statistics, it is estimated that the global demand for energy storage batteries will reach 218GWh in 2025, with a compound growth rate of about 38%, and the average annual new demand will exceed 130GWh.
It can be seen that the market prospect of lithium battery for energy storage is broad. In the lithium battery market for energy storage, the global and domestic markets have not yet formed a dedicated leader. For emerging startups, this is also a good window of market opportunity.
But it cannot be ignored that this time window will not be long. We predict that the energy storage departments of companies such as Ningde, BYD, and Yiwei Lithium Energy will likely be spun off from power battery companies in the future.
Therefore, we predict that in the next period of time, more power battery bigwigs will come out to start businesses, specializing in lithium batteries for energy storage.
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