The increasing climate crisis coupled with the growing adoption of renewable energies across the globe has given born to the dire need for batteries to run homes and businesses. Stationary batteries can be connected to distribution/transmission networks or power-generation assets and hold back the repercussions of a power crisis. Lithium-ion batteries are the most prevalent and mature type. Moreover, the growing proportion of variable renewable energy (VRE) demands for an adaptable technology that can absorb, hold, and reinject electricity when plugged in. This is where electricity storage systems come into play. The capacity to store renewable energy for later usage will be more crucial as the supply grows.
The capacity to store renewable energy for later usage will be more crucial as the supply grows ESS (Energy Storage Systems) is a crucial element in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions because they offer flexibility for decoupling varying energy production and consumption across time. Time shifting, high-quality power, effective utilization of the current grid, island grids, and emergency power can all be provided by ESS.
China being the manufacturer of most batteries, stationary batteries, and energy storage project costs will also be affected by the Global shipping crisis. In September 2021, it cost over US$ 20,000 to ship a container from China to the US West Coast, in June 2022 the prices are half that at US$ 9,500. This rate is still volatile.
Sodium-ion Batteries (SIB): Contemporary Revolution in the Energy Storage Marketspace
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and Lead-acid batteries (LABs) are the two leading commercial options available in the market to fulfill the energy requirements of the country. SIBs are no different from LIBs except for the cathode of these batteries being manufactured from sodium. They have reached a high energy density of 160 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), which is the same as Lithium iron phosphate (LFPs) and about 75% of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMCs), making them perfect competitors.
LAB has started gaining traction owing to the boost in manufacturing of two and three-wheeler electric vehicles with affordability and high recycling rates being its major attributes. Whereas LIBs are witnessing high commercial value in the international markets, as a result of their high energy density, small size, and improved cycle life, LIBs have increased in commercial value on the international market. LIBs provide enhanced performance as compared to LABs. Despite this, higher costs act as a restraint in increasing the production of LIBs.
However, the use of lithium, cobalt, manganese, and copper in the battery manufacturing process leads to an increase in production cost and energy-intensive refining leaving a carbon residue. Due to these shortcomings, SIBs become an attractive alternative.
What’s the Trend: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G)
The V2G technology has witnessed increased adoption in recent times. As the name suggests, this technology supports electricity consumption spikes in buildings with the help of electric cars. Electric vehicles with V2G technology can discharge power back into the grid, reducing the overall load and a person's monthly power costs. This technology forms a part of the smart grid which is an electrical network system. Electric Vehicles have a battery size ranging from 36 kWh to 130 kWh.
While this technology helps power companies to ensure enough supply in times of peak demand, on the other hand, this might have an adverse effect on the car’s performance. Apparently, a study by the University of Hawaii, the performance of your vehicle's battery is substantially reduced when you discharge it and then recharge it. It was discovered that doing this frequently could reduce the battery's useable lifespan to just 5 years or 50,000 miles.
Although V2G is an intriguing idea that will probably become a reality at some time, it is currently impractical unless batteries that can resist extreme harm are developed.
SIBs surely have gained traction in the international markets, owing to competitive features like higher operational safety, high-temperature endurance than other batteries, and unique features like discharging to zero volts to avoid mishaps during transportation. However, LIBs and LABs still have a major market share for their cost-effective features.
But to make them widely adoptable by businesses and households, diversification of battery technology is vital, assessing the problems of material shortage, supply vulnerability, production cost, environment, and health with LABs and LIBs.
Moreover, several steps have been taken by the Government of India to toughen its climate action policies and aim towards fulfilling the country’s 50% energy demands from renewable sources by 2030, boosting the demand for storage batteries. Continuous research and developments are expected to take place considering the LABs and LIBs' effects on issues like production costs, supply vulnerability, the environment, and health.
SIBs which are a promising alternative own the attributes to resolve such issues and eventually lead to diversification in stationary storage systems. Manufacturers across the globe have started investing in this technology including the world’s largest battery company, for instance
- China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology
- India’s progress in the diversification of battery technology can be determined by a US$ 140 million investment by Reliance in the purchase of Faradion, a leading SIB manufacturing company. This move can promote the Atma Nirbhar model, making India a global leader in the manufacturing of SIBs.
RationalStat expects that electricity will make up around 50% of the overall energy consumption by the end of 2050. Thus, stationary energy storage or stationary batteries will play a pivotal role in the transition from a fossil fuel-based system to a system primarily based on renewable energy.
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Co-founder and Director at RationalStat
Divyanshu is an experienced market research consultant. He helps growth-driven organizations and entrepreneurs understand market entry prospects, industry assessment, and grow their revenue strategically.