IEA: 74 Chinese companies among the world's top 100 energy storage project developers
2024-05-22 17:39

Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Global Energy Transition report, and according to its latest data,the cumulative installed capacity of electrochemical storage has grown exponentially over the past decade, from approximately 1 GW in 2013 to over 85 GW in 2023. The capacity added in 2023 alone exceeded 40 GW, more than double that of 2022.

In the past five years, this growth in electrochemical storage has been almost entirely driven by China, the European Union, and the United States, which collectively accounted for nearly 90% of the new capacity added in 2023.

2013-2023 New installed capacity of electrochemical energy storage (GW)

IEA statistics indicate that among the world's top ten energy storage project developers, half are Chinese companies. Furthermore, among the top 100 global energy storage project developers, approximately 74 are Chinese enterprises.

Regional Breakdown of Global TOP Energy Storage Project Owners

Additionally, an increasing number of countries are supporting energy storage deployment by setting targets, providing subsidies, and implementing reforms to remove regulatory barriers and improve market access. For instance, in the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act offers federal tax credits of up to 50% for energy storage projects. Nine states have already set energy storage targets, with cumulative new installations projected to exceed 50 GW over the next 20 years.

Major international and regional energy storage development targets around the world

Currently, the lack of appropriate regulatory frameworks for energy storage projects in many countries remains a critical obstacle to the development of viable business models. Even with proper price signals, investment in energy storage projects is hindered by owners' risk and uncertainty regarding long-term revenues.

A common barrier faced by energy storage operators worldwide is double taxation or double charging. Due to the dual nature of storage systems, acting both as generation and load (demand), they may be taxed during both charging and discharging phases, putting them at a systemic disadvantage.

Moreover, some energy storage projects cannot fully participate in ancillary services markets. Services like black start capability or inertia traditionally provided free of charge by conventional power plants are either nonexistent or only being tested in pilot storage projects.

Thus, in transitioning from regulated to liberalized markets, energy storage project owners often cannot participate in competitive procurement processes for system services or engage in wholesale market arbitrage. For example, in the EU, energy storage plants in many member states are still not eligible to participate in short-term electricity markets and capacity mechanisms, nor can they provide balancing and congestion management services.

Finally, grid interconnection challenges also pose significant obstacles to the development and deployment of energy storage projects in many regions. The process of obtaining approvals and regulatory permits for storage projects is complex and time-consuming.

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the number of energy storage projects awaiting interconnection in the U.S. increased from 680 GW in 2022 to 1,080 GW in 2023. The average waiting time—from submitting an interconnection request to signing the interconnection agreement—is about three years, with commercial operations taking approximately five years to commence.


Tags:energy storage