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The difficulty of optical storage and profit
Sep 15,2020 14:17CST
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: the policy to support new energy supporting energy storage was introduced intensively in 2020, so that new energy developers who thought they could do well after getting online at a low price are once again caught in an awkward dilemma due to additional investment in energy storage.

In addition, in the course of implementation, "encouragement" has changed. In the later provincial policies, whether it is "giving priority to support" or "encouraging allocation", the allocation of energy storage has become the standard allocation of renewable energy consumption in 2020, and even become a prerequisite for the project to be connected to the grid or even approved. There is an illusion that "just out of the tiger's den and into the wolf's nest".

As a matter of fact, although the combination of "scenery and energy storage" is not a perfect match, because of the energy storage technology, it can perfectly solve the problem of new energy consumption and make the operation of the power system safer, so it has always been regarded as the "last kilometer of renewable energy".

In particular, the combined application of photovoltaic and energy storage has become an important direction of global energy storage development. Compared with wind power, photovoltaic power generation is more predictable and has certain regularity. Combined with energy storage, regular charging and discharge can be achieved, and the utilization rate is relatively high. To meet its friendly access to Electroweb, evolved into high-quality power expectations. Therefore, many photovoltaic enterprises and power generation enterprises regard the combination of photovoltaic storage as one of the ways for photovoltaic to become market-oriented in the future.

Therefore, although there are still calls in the industry that "strong allocation of energy storage is out of date", some companies have already bowed into the game. After all, the embarrassment of "strong allocation of energy storage" is not the technology or the prospect itself, but the question of who pays the bill during landing. What's more, in the era of parity based on consumption, the value of the project put into production will be much greater than that of parity or shelving in the later stage.

The "national team" is pushed into the game, and the profit model still needs to be explored.

Under this background, a number of photovoltaic projects began to invite tenders for the construction of supporting energy storage facilities, among which the "national team" represented by China Electric Power Construction, SPIC, Huaneng and the National Energy Group acted most quickly, relying on the inherent advantages of strength and financial resources. It showed a strong ability to open up the market as soon as it appeared on the stage. Incomplete statistics of Polaris solar photovoltaic network: by the end of August 2020, a total of 22 photovoltaic energy storage projects of these power generation groups have entered the stage of bidding and construction.

In the Electroweb side, user side energy storage shows weakness in the pattern. With the participation of these heavyweight "players", they not only began to replace Electroweb to become the main force of energy storage investment, but also injected a shot in the arm into the optical storage industry, which was almost frozen. After all, whether it is to achieve a reduction in the cost of energy storage, or to improve the economy of optical storage projects, they all need to do project support.

What's more, the single scale of these power generation group investment projects is often relatively large, and many projects are national key UHV supporting projects. this can greatly promote the diversified application of optical storage scene, technological change, cost reduction and business model innovation.

For example, in the previous demonstration project of the optical storage power station, the Qinghai Gonghe photovoltaic power station invested in the Yellow River Hydropower Station has undertaken the test task of various new technologies, among which the power generation system adopts all kinds of new technologies at present. including fixed + one-sided, fixed + double-sided, flat single + double-sided, vertical + double-sided; Lithium iron phosphate ternary lithium zinc bromine flow and vanadium flow batteries are used in the energy storage system and have been tried on both AC side and DC side.

In addition, the energy storage power station of Yangyi photovoltaic power station 4.5MW/20.7MWH, which is invested by Beijing Control Clean Energy Group in Tibet, has also explored a set of profit models that are close to commercialization. According to the company's public data, when Yangyi photovoltaic power station abandons power during the day, the energy storage station is charged, and the purchase of electricity costs only 1 cent per kilowatt-hour. At night, Discharge, an energy storage power station, is sold at the price of 1.15 yuan per kilowatt-hour at Yangyi Photovoltaic Power Station, earning a price difference of 1.14 yuan per kilowatt-hour.

In addition, from the point of view of the optical storage projects that have been put into operation, the multi-energy complementary projects, relatively independent optical storage projects, are more economical and practical. Obviously, the power generation group is also aware of this, so in the western provinces where Fengguo power generation is gathered, the major power generation groups have begun a new round of "horse racing enclosure", laying out scenery storage projects on a large scale.

According to the incomplete statistics of Polaris Solar Photovoltaic Network: by the end of August 2020, the local government has completed as many as 8 landscape storage projects, and another 5 projects have entered the bidding and construction stage. most of these projects are above the GW level, except for the integrated landscape storage project in Dingzhuang, Dezhou, Huaneng, all located in the traditional western resource-rich provinces.

This shows that in the aspect of opening up large bases, the power generation group is changing from the traditional single large-scale development mode to the mode of "scenery storage" that can complement each other and send out with bundles. From August 27 this year, the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration issued the "guidance on the Integration of Wind, Light, Water, Fire and Storage" and "Integration of Source Network, charge and Storage" (draft for soliciting opinions). It can be seen that "multi-energy complementarity" has been raised to a prominent position.

However, it can not be ignored that the supporting field of energy storage in these projects still does not have a stable and universally applicable profit model, and the investment cost of energy storage is only borne by the developers, if there is no mature market mechanism, whether it is light-storage integration or "scenery storage" can complement each other, it is still difficult to make great progress.

It is still a top priority to open up new business models.

As far as the current reality is concerned, the high cost of energy storage leads to the lack of economy of the project, which is still an important constraint to the development of optical storage.

Although the cost of mainstream energy storage technology has been reduced by 10% to 20% a year in the past decade, the cost of energy storage technology will not fall indefinitely. The cost decline has slowed in 2019, and the rate of decline in 2020 will continue this trend. Therefore, how to tap the potential of energy storage power station and open up a new business model is still an urgent task for the development of optical storage.

From the existing business model, the ways to create the value of photovoltaic energy distribution and storage projects include participating in peak regulation and frequency regulation to obtain auxiliary service compensation, reducing the abandonment of wind and photovoltaic electricity to increase electricity revenue, and participating in electricity market transactions to obtain electricity price benefits. peak-to-valley price difference can be obtained by cutting peak and filling valley.

However, in the past, participation in electricity market transactions was often "specialized" by traditional energy sources such as thermal power. How can optical storage and renewable energy break this shackle?

The "shared energy storage" model pioneered by Qinghai Province has provided a successful demonstration. In April 2019, the national network Qinghai electric power new energy construction key project-Luneng Haixi multi-energy complementary integration optimization demonstration project energy storage power station conducted a shared energy storage transaction trial operation, jumping out of the exclusive energy storage mode of a single power station. the energy storage power station will provide power auxiliary services to multiple market players through market-oriented transactions.

This model once aroused widespread concern in the industry, and a set of data also confirmed its value. According to the public data of Qinghai Electric Power, the national network shows that by the end of July 2020, there have been a total of 1172 transactions of shared energy storage power stations in Qinghai Province, generating 26.24 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, creating direct economic benefits of more than 2100 million yuan.

Awkwardly, many people in the industry believe that this "shared energy storage" model bred in Qinghai does not have the conditions for reproduction in other regions in a short period of time.

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