The global storage market closed in 2018 with 4.6 GWh, with a strong contribution of South Korea (1.1 GWh). Europe installed 1 GWh and the United States 0.7 GWh.
It is more than doubled, even if cobalt…
Nevertheless, the growth in storage has been slowed by the shortage of raw materials for batteries, in particular cobalt, whose cost has almost doubled between 2016 and 2017. The shortage occurred due to the strong demand, mostly by the electric vehicle manufacturers, which have stocked up on cobalt and other lithium battery ingredients.
Expected a 70% increase in installed storage capacity
The electric storage is expected to increase sharply, so that the most optimistic estimates for 2019 foresee an increase of 70% of installed storage capacity, which will almost globally reach 8 GWh.
Here are the reasons:
» spread of storage utility-scales storage;
» competitiveness of energy costs if combined with a photovoltaic plant (thanks to the estimated reduction of prices);
» the push of global players who, especially for marketing reasons, want to align their electricity demand with a fully “green” production;
» the possibility of participation in aggregators and, consequently, higher storage remuneration.
What investments in Europe?
In Europe, investments in this sector are led by Germany, which allocated 500 million to support researches on solid electrolyte batteries.
The European Commission itself has launched a ban for the development of projects aiming to produce a new generation of batteries.
China has a monopoly
A good part of the supply chain of cobalt-based components is in the hands of Chinese companies:
» from the extraction, mainly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with over 50%;
» to the refining of the mineral and combination with nickel and manganese
» assembly of the components.