China Carbon Credit Platform

How many hurdles does new energy storage have to pass to become a "new kinetic energy"?

Release Time1 month ago

In the 2024 government work report, "development of new energy storage" appeared for the first time.

At the press conference for the first quarter of 2024 held by the National Energy Administration not long ago, Bian Guangqi, deputy director of the Department of Energy Conservation and Science and Technology Equipment of the National Energy Administration, pointed out when introducing the development of new energy storage in China in 2023: "New energy storage has increasingly become a key technology for China's construction of a new energy system and a new power system, an important direction for cultivating emerging industries, and an important starting point for promoting the green and low-carbon transformation of energy production and consumption." ”

According to the latest data released by the National Energy Administration, new energy storage is developing rapidly, with more than 30 million kilowatts of installed capacity put into operation. By the end of 2023, the cumulative installed capacity of new energy storage projects that have been completed and put into operation across the country will reach 31.39 million kW/66.87 million kWh, with an average energy storage duration of 2.1 hours. In 2023, the new installed capacity will be about 22.6 million kW/48.7 million kWh, an increase of more than 260% from the end of 2022 and nearly 10 times the installed capacity at the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan. From the perspective of investment scale, since the "14th Five-Year Plan", the new new energy storage capacity has directly promoted economic investment of more than 100 billion yuan, driven the further expansion of the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain, and become a "new driving force" for China's economic development.

What are the opportunities and challenges faced by new energy storage that has entered the stage of rapid development? The reporter recently interviewed relevant experts.

The "dual carbon" goal has given rise to the development of new energy storage

"There are many types of energy storage, such as pumped storage, new energy storage, physical, chemical and other methods. Wang Peng, a professor at North China Electric Power University, said.

Bian Guangqi said that new energy storage technologies are constantly emerging, and the technical route is "blooming". Since 2023, a number of 300 MW compressed air energy storage projects, 100 MW flow battery energy storage projects, and megawatt flywheel energy storage projects have started construction, and new technologies such as gravity energy storage, liquid air energy storage, and carbon dioxide energy storage have been implemented, showing an overall trend of diversified development. By the end of 2023, 97.4% of lithium-ion battery energy storage has been put into operation, 0.5% of lead-carbon battery energy storage, 0.5% of compressed air energy storage, 0.4% of flow battery energy storage, and 1.2% of other new energy storage technologies.

"The new power system is a systematic project, which needs to deal with the relationship between the orderly decline of thermal power units, the orderly penetration of renewable energy such as wind and solar, and the rational allocation of flexible resources. Zhang Yunfei, director of the Planning and Evaluation Center of the State Grid Xinyuan Holdings Co., Ltd. Pumped Storage Technology and Economic Research Institute, said that since the "double carbon" goal and the goal of building a new power system were proposed, China's pumped storage construction has begun to flourish. China has put forward the goal of reaching more than 1.2 billion kilowatts of total installed wind and solar capacity by 2030. Based on the scale of 15% of the energy storage, it is estimated that at least 180 million kilowatts of energy storage will be needed. "At present, the development scale of new energy storage and pumped storage is relatively lagging behind, and it is necessary to promote the coordinated development of pumped storage and new energy storage. ”

The Comprehensive Value Assessment and Policy Research on Energy Storage on the Power Generation Side (hereinafter referred to as the "Report") jointly released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Zhongguancun Energy Storage Industry Technology Alliance (CNESA) points out that the value of energy storage crosses the boundaries between the power system value chain (power generation, transmission, distribution and users) and has obvious "externalities". With the deepening of the construction of new power systems and the acceleration of the reform process of electricity marketization, the external value brought by energy storage is expected to be gradually recognized and the potential benefits will be reflected.

The "14th Five-Year Plan" energy plan proposes to "accelerate the construction of pumped storage power stations, and strive to achieve an installed capacity of more than 62 million kilowatts of pumped storage power stations by 2025, and an installed capacity of about 60 million kilowatts under construction", "accelerate the large-scale application of new energy storage technologies, vigorously promote the development of power side energy storage, optimize the layout of grid-side energy storage, and actively support the diversified development of user-side energy storage". According to the National Energy Administration, the installed capacity of new energy storage will exceed 30 million kilowatts in 2025, with an average annual growth rate of more than 50%.

The new energy storage solves the problem of wind and solar power generation relying on the sky for food

Lin Weibin, director of the Energy Policy Research Center of the China Energy Research Society, believes that according to the "three-step" construction, it is expected that the power generation of wind and solar new energy will exceed 20% by 2030, reach about 35% by 2040, and surpass coal power to become the largest main power source by 2040. To achieve the proportion from 12% now to more than 20%, 35%, and even about 60% under the carbon neutrality scenario in the future, one of the very important supporting conditions is to rely on the development of energy storage.

"The changes that have taken place on the power side and demand side of the power system have put forward requirements for the development of energy storage. Bai Jianhua, vice president of Beijing Zhizhong Energy Internet Research Institute, believes that the power supply side is connected to a large number of wind and solar power generation resources that rely on the sky, and the power substitution of the terminal sector on the demand side has greatly changed the load curve. It is necessary to comprehensively consider the characteristics of total power demand, characteristics, regional distribution, etc., and adjust and analyze the load curve adaptively, so as to determine the required energy storage scale.

According to rough estimates, by 2060, the power system will need about 1 billion kilowatts of energy storage, of which pumped hydro, new energy storage, and V2G for electric vehicles will play an important role. Bai Jianhua said: "In terms of energy storage development, we should focus on several aspects: first, pay attention to the development trend of mixed type, that is, the combined development of hydropower, pumped storage, wind and photovoltaic, which has great potential; second, pay attention to the development of the two-part electricity price, compared with the ancillary service market pricing is simple and easy, can effectively mobilize the enthusiasm of new energy storage; third, from the perspective of the whole life cycle, pay attention to the safety, life and cost of new energy storage, and judge the cooperation and competition with pumped storage." ”

Guo Qiang, director of the New Energy Institute of the State Grid Shanxi Electric Power Research Institute, said that the cycle life of the battery is closely related to the use environment and use scenarios, and the cycle life of the battery cells produced by different manufacturers is also quite different. "The frequency modulation times in Shanxi are about 800-1,000 times a day, and the appropriate energy storage technology should be selected according to the needs of the scenario. For primary frequency modulation, there is not much difference between the flywheel and lithium battery responses in milliseconds, but there is a difference in the inertia response to the power grid. Therefore, energy storage is a whole system, and the response performance index of the technical product is determined by the whole system. ”

Guo Qiang said: "In 2018, we explored the technology suitable for high-frequency fast charging and fast discharging, and proposed a cost-effective 'flywheel + lithium battery' hybrid energy storage technology through the technical route and specific experimental parameters of the demonstration application. Shanxi Province now accounts for more than 48% of the installed capacity of new energy, but the proportion of real-time power generation is very high, and the highest instantaneous power generation should account for more than 80%. New energy sources are intermittent and volatile, and we ultimately hope to establish a regulatory resource as soon as possible. ”

New energy storage still needs to be further improved

"Shanxi Province plans to have an installed capacity of 80 million kilowatts of new energy by 2035, and the pressure on the power grid is also relatively large. Guo Qiang said with emotion, "It has been more than one year since the introduction of the rules of the primary frequency modulation market in Shanxi Province, and almost no projects have entered the market, mainly because the performance of existing market entities is difficult to meet the demand." ”

"At present, energy storage has entered the stage of large-scale development from the early stage of commercialization, and the application scenarios are becoming more and more abundant, but for the construction of new power systems, both quantity and quality need to be further improved. Huang Hui, climate and energy project manager at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said for example, that the proportion of energy storage and new energy is less than 10%, which is relatively low, and the equipment utilization rate is not high.

Due to the different coal reduction and carbon reduction mechanisms of energy storage in different application scenarios, the report believes that independent distribution and storage of new energy, combined frequency modulation of thermal storage, and shared energy storage are the main application scenarios of energy storage on the domestic power generation side. Regionally, the structure type, installed capacity and output characteristics of power sources in different regions are the key factors affecting the energy storage configuration on the power generation side.

The report suggests that policies that reflect the indirect green value of energy storage should be established and improved, the relationship between the "electricity-green certificate-carbon trading" market should be straightened out, and the "electricity-carbon-certificate" market coordination mechanism should be established to fully reflect the green value of energy storage. On this basis, it is also necessary to make efforts in the R&D and application of diversified energy storage technologies and the R&D and application of hybrid energy storage technologies.

Wang Ziqiang, a senior researcher at Wanli Think Tank, talked about the development of energy storage from the perspective of the capital market. He said that the stock market is a barometer of the industry, and the sudden rise of the energy storage sector reflects the active development of energy storage enterprises. "From the perspective of the capital market, we must use market means to develop energy storage, especially new energy storage, to generate economic benefits. In the process of development, we should focus on two issues. First, in order to cooperate with the development of new energy, it is necessary to adapt supporting energy storage to local conditions to avoid blindly launching new infrastructure and causing unnecessary waste. Second, to avoid overprotection of energy storage technology, it is necessary to improve the market competitiveness of energy storage technology through market-oriented means. ”

"It is necessary to develop energy storage based on China's energy resource endowment. Xu Jiangfeng, a senior energy expert, proposed that he believes that in the new power system in 2060, in addition to pumped storage and new energy storage power variant energy storage system, there are three major energy storage and flexible regulation power supply systems: 1. Urban electric vehicle energy storage cluster is an energy storage system that can directly store excess power and can level valley and peak shaving for the power system, and is economical; Third, biomass and garbage are energy storage and flexible power systems that must be used and burned for the sake of a beautiful environment. "In the energy storage development path, electric vehicle energy storage clusters and biomass waste energy storage and power generation will be prioritized. ”

"For the integrated energy business, China Energy Group has formed a development principle that focuses on the power generation side and is close to the main responsibility and main business. Fan Rui, senior director of the power industry management department of the national energy group, said that all the integrated energy business is to enhance the efficiency of the thermal power industry, as well as to enhance the ability of new energy consumption, including the internal circulation capacity of the industrial chain, and the three main ways to take include thermal power +, new energy +, industrial chain +, forming three horizontal and three vertical management. As an investor and owner, China Energy Group is most concerned about the cost of energy storage. "The Group diversifies the development of energy storage, and has explored technical routes such as electrochemistry, flywheels, lava heat storage, and compressed air. ”

What the experts say:

Yu Feng, Vice President of Shouhang New Energy:

In addition to the changes in raw material prices, industrial chain enterprises have continuously introduced new technologies in recent years to improve cost competitiveness. Improve the overall efficiency of the system from larger cell cells, longer life cells, higher system energy density, and improved thermal management. In the process of improving the cycle life, the technology is still constantly innovating. We now see that the efficiency of energy storage systems has increased from 83%~84% in the early years to 85~86% of the current mainstream liquid cooling manufacturers. Reducing comprehensive costs through a variety of means is the core issue that system integrators have always focused on, and our understanding of cost is not only the initial investment cost, but also the full life cycle cost of energy storage system LCOS. Through the joint efforts of enterprises in the industrial chain, we can achieve orderly cost reduction to support friendly access in multiple scenarios. Energy storage has cell life and system life, according to industry experience data, the system life is about 80% of the nominal life of the cell.

Zheng Hanbo, General Manager of Energy Storage Division of Envision Energy Co., Ltd.:

The original cell cycle life was 6,000 times, and we later achieved 8,000 times, and Envision launched 12,000 times of battery cells this year, which has improved the technology in many aspects and provided technical support for the system to reduce costs.

Li Bingwen, General Manager of Strategic Marketing of Jiangsu Trina Energy Storage Co., Ltd.:

When making strategic forecasts in 2022, it was already predicted that the cost of electrochemical energy storage would decline rapidly. In 2025, the LCOE of lithium battery energy storage will be less than 0.2 yuan, which is lower than the level of pumped storage.

Electrochemical energy storage will be the most mainstream new energy storage direction in the future. First, the fact that electrochemistry is unsafe now does not indicate that it will be unsafe in the future, and compared with ternary batteries, the probability of lithium iron phosphate itself causing problems is very low. Second, the homogenization of the entire industry has been serious since last year, and the only thing that can be differentiated is security. Third, safety issues for large-scale energy storage may make great progress in the past two years.