Russia Needs a Tenfold Increase in the Production of Energy Storage Systems

09 February 2021

The potential market for energy storage systems in Russia will be 10-15 GW by 2030. This means more than a tenfold increase from the current level. This is stated in the review by the New Energy Information and Analysis Center, prepared at the initiative of the RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (FIEP). However, domestic production of batteries for such systems is minimal: imported products, particularly from China, are already absolutely dominant. This threatens domestic producers with a market loss of several bln dollars per year.

The only Russian manufacturer of domestically produced lithium-ion batteries for industrial use is the Novosibirsk-based Liotech, owned by RUSNANO. It now produces only 128 MWh of cells per year. There are two main areas of application: electric transport (electric buses, long-distance trolleybuses, potentially battery-powered railway locomotives) and backup power systems (as emergency power sources; in isolated renewable energy systems; and potentially for peak power requirements in new hydrocarbon fields).

The FIEP’s Energy Storage Systems supplies industrial batteries based on Liotech cells. In particular, its units operate in solar power plants to cover emerging generation shortfalls, including at night.

ENRU of the TechnoSpark Group also operates in the “behind the counter” home storage segment of the RUSNANO’s FIEP investment network.

The Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are one of the fastest-growing segments of the global electricity sector. In ten years, its volume has increased 48-fold, with an average annual growth rate of 47% (according to the EnergyNet Infrastructure Center’s expert analysis report “Energy Storage Applications in Russia: Opportunities and Barriers”, 2019). The rapid development is linked to the need to balance the fluctuating output of the most widespread alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, and the falling cost of batteries due to rapid advances in manufacturing technology. BloombergNEF predicts that the global installed capacity of energy storage systems will increase by 122 times by 2040. As expected by Lux Research, the annual turnover of the energy storage market in 2035 will be $546 bln.

The author of the report, Vladimir Sidorovich, cites the following factors contributing to the growth of the ETC market:

  • the increasing share of alternative generation (solar and wind) in the electricity sector and the resulting increased need for power system capacity regulation;
  • course for the decarbonization of heavy industry;
  • conversion to electricity for transport, including commercial and industrial vehicles;
  • ambitious plans to produce carbon-free (green) hydrogen and synthetic fuels; and
  • increased demand from electricity consumers to optimize costs.

The sector is dominated by lithium-ion batteries, as the least expensive technology and showing a steady trend in reducing the cost of generation (eight times over a decade). According to the International Energy Agency (IEA)), the main markets for ETC deployment are South Korea, China, the USA, and Europe. However, Saudi Arabia has recently started building a Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries plant with a capacity of 3 GWh per year.

The technology of gravity SSD looks promising. They are less demanding on the natural environment and have much less impact on the environment than pumped-storage power plants, which had become widespread in the 1960s. The principle of operation of solid-state storage power plants is based on lifting loads several hundred meters in the air at night, when there is a surplus of electricity and it is cheap, and generating it by lowering loads by gravity during the day when electricity is expensive. In Russia, such technology is being developed by Energozapas, a company from the

Reference

The Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs was established in 2010 in accordance with Federal Law No. 211-FZ “On reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.” The Fund aims to develop the innovative infrastructure in the sphere of nanotechnology and implement the educational and infrastructure programs already started by RUSNANO.

The supreme collegial management body of the Fund is the Supervisory Board. Under the Fund’s Charter, the competence of the Supervisory Council, in particular, includes the issues of determining the priority directions of the Fund’s activity, as well as its strategy and budget. The Chairman of the Fund’s Executive Board, the collegial management body, is the Chairman of the Board of Management Company RUSNANO LLC Sergey Kulikov.