While excess production capacity and a shrinking overseas demand for energy storage pose challenges, 11 leading companies have defied the odds. In the first 11 months of this year, they secured overseas orders totaling nearly 250GWh. Some companies have consistently clinched substantial deals.
According to data released by these energy storage giants, CATL, BYD, REPT, EVE, the Great Power, Gotion High Tech, Hithium, AESC, Lishen Battery, SVOLT, and CALB collectively received 32 orders, amassing an impressive 247.2GWh capacity. Remarkably, eight of them hold positions in the top 10 of the energy storage battery sector, contributing to 90% of the total capacity through their order acquisitions.
Within these orders, several surpass the 10GWh mark. Notably, CATL has dominated energy storage battery shipments, securing the top spot for two consecutive years. CATL and Quinbrook, an Australian sustainable energy company, have inked a global framework agreement for stationary energy storage systems, targeting the deployment of over 10GWh of CATL's cutting-edge storage solutions in the next five years. Over this period, Quinbrook aims to implement more than 10GWh of CATL's advanced energy storage solutions.
At the International Battery Energy Storage Technology Expo (EES Europe) in June, CATL engaged in extensive discussions with nearly 100 leading enterprises. They not only signed but also solidified cooperation agreements, boasting a combined capacity of over 40GWh.
Moving into August, CATL and Hyperstrong entered a profound collaboration, focusing on advancing energy storage, solar energy storage, charging infrastructure, smart manufacturing, and more. The two parties outlined plans for a substantial purchase of CATL's battery products, totaling no less than 50GWh over the next three years.
In a significant development in July, BYD and Bison Energy inked an agreement. BYD committed to supplying Bison Brothers with a minimum of 10GWh of energy storage batteries or integrated products over the upcoming three years.
It's noteworthy that in the first three quarters of this year, CATL and BYD claimed the top two spots in energy storage battery shipments. CATL achieved an impressive 46.1GWh, while BYD followed closely with 31.5GWh. Additionally, energy storage battery enterprises are rapidly expanding their global reach, as evidenced by numerous companies securing substantial orders with foreign counterparts, with a notable focus on clients from the United States.
For instance, in June, EVE Battery secured two major contracts. On June 14, its subsidiary inked a significant 10GWh supply agreement with Powin, outlining the production and delivery of 10GWh square lithium iron phosphate batteries. The momentum continued on June 15, with EVE Battery and ABS sealing a supply agreement for the anticipated production and delivery of 13.389GWh square lithium iron phosphate batteries to ABS.
REPT, emerging as a dark horse in the energy storage sector, achieved a remarkable feat by signing two substantial contracts on a single day. On September 12, during the RE+ 2023 event in Las Vegas, REPT partnered with energy storage integrator Powin to secure an agreement for procuring 8.4GWh of Wending 320Ah batteries in Indonesia. Simultaneously, REPT also inked a deal with SUNPIN, a leading PV system integrator and solar power plant developer in the US, to purchase 8.4GWh of Indonesian batteries based on its Wending 320Ah battery. Moreover, REPT formalized a 10GWh framework procurement agreement based on the Wending 320Ah battery.
Additionally, there is a noteworthy surge in orders for sodium-ion batteries, a niche technology in the energy storage sector. In July, Great Power and QNSH entered into a cooperation agreement for a 5MW/10MWh sodium-ion energy storage power station demonstration project. This milestone marks the first large-scale application of sodium-ion batteries in northern energy storage power stations, signifying the formal introduction of Great Power's sodium-ion batteries into the market.
Large capacity battery has become the norm.
As the energy storage market competition evolves, companies are recognizing that large-capacity energy storage batteries have become a pivotal factor in establishing core competitiveness. Among the 11 leading companies in the energy storage battery sector, there is a clear trend towards collaboration to provide electric cores exceeding 300Ah.
For instance, in the partnership between CATL and Quinbrook, CATL is set to supply Quinbrook with its cutting-edge outdoor container solution, EnerC Plus. This containerized liquid cooling battery system represents a significant advancement, being the world's first standard 20-foot containerized liquid-cooled energy storage system. It is tailored to accommodate CATL's new 306Ah battery, resulting in a notable 10% increase in battery capacity. Similarly, REPT inked a battery procurement project agreement based on its Wending 320Ah battery, a significant component in orders signed in September of this year.
In this era of large-capacity energy storage, the triumvirate of long life, low cost, and high safety emerges as the cornerstone for establishing a firm stance in market competition. Large electric batteries address the market's demand for cost reduction, with studies indicating their positive impact on lowering overall system costs and improving project revenues.
While the market is still predominantly shaped by batteries with a 280Ah capacity, a notable shift is underway, with at least 25 companies actively engaged in the development or release of large-capacity batteries exceeding 300Ah. Industry leaders such as Narada Power, Ganfeng LiEnergy, SVOLT, REPT, and others have successfully introduced batteries with capacities surpassing 300Ah. Notably, EVE Battery and Xiongtao have pushed the boundaries, developing batteries with staggering capacities of 560Ah and 580Ah.
Examining the 15 companies venturing into energy storage batteries with capacities surpassing 300Ah, a common claim emerges: these batteries boast a cycle life exceeding 10,000-12,000 cycles. Furthermore, these companies assert their ability to achieve cost reductions through system integration and application, with components decreasing by 47%, while simultaneously improving production efficiency by an impressive 30%.
Nevertheless, industry experts emphasize that in the realm of energy storage, bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. Profitability isn't solely determined by the size of the battery; rather, it hinges on rigorous validation through large-scale applications. The cost-effectiveness of batteries must withstand scrutiny in real-world scenarios. Safety concerns remain a paramount consideration in energy storage applications.
An academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences highlighted that while Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries are generally perceived as safe, this holds true mainly for smaller configurations. In contrast, the internal temperature of large-sized LFP batteries can soar beyond 800 degrees, surpassing the decomposition temperature of the cathode. The academician expressed concerns, asserting that the explosion risk of large-scale LFP batteries might now exceed that of ternary lithium-ion batteries. Typically, the cathode materials in LFP batteries begin decomposing at 500℃. Smaller LFP batteries operate with internal cathode temperatures around 300-400 ℃, but larger-capacity LFP batteries can exceed a perilous 800℃, elevating the risk of thermal runaway.
Currently, in the domestic electrochemistry energy storage market, the large-scale adoption of ternary lithium-ion batteries faces hindrance due to safety concerns. New material batteries, like Na-ion batteries, are still in the early stages of demonstration applications with limited production batches. Consequently, LFP batteries continue to dominate the majority of the market share.