China’s Energy Storage Market Flourishes with Dominance of Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries
In the first half of 2023, the domestic battery value chain companies in China secured a total of 58 orders, both domestic and international. Among these orders, electric vehicle (EV) batteries, energy storage systems, and raw materials constituted the major segments.
1. Energy Storage Systems and Batteries Dominate Orders
Out of the 58 orders received, 29 were related to energy storage systems and batteries, representing half of the total orders.
2. Energy Storage Sector Leads in Order Sources
The majority of orders in the energy storage sector came from China’s colossal state-owned enterprises, including State Grid Corporation of China, China Mobile, China Electric Power Construction, and China Tower. Additionally, there were orders for energy storage battery systems from overseas regions like Italy, the United States, Turkey, and Europe.
3. Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries Take Center Stage
According to the data disclosed by the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance in June 2023, more than 99% of the energy storage batteries were lithium iron phosphate batteries.
4. Impressive Sales Figures
China’s energy storage system’s cumulative sales reached 31.5 GWh in the first half of 2023, with lithium iron phosphate batteries accounting for 31.2 GWh of the total. Moreover, the cumulative exports of energy storage batteries during this period amounted to 6.3 GWh, with lithium iron phosphate batteries accounting for the entire export volume.
5. Policy Support for Safer Battery Technologies
In June 2022, the National Energy Administration released the “25 Key Requirements to Prevent Power Production Accidents (2022 Draft for Comments),” which stipulates that large and medium-sized electrochemical energy storage stations cannot use ternary lithium batteries or sodium-sulfur batteries. This policy effectively supports the safer lithium iron phosphate batteries, offering them better development prospects.
6. Rising Prominence of Sodium Batteries
Notably, the battery order statistics for the first half of the year showed that Funeng Technology and Zhongbi New Energy secured sodium battery orders, with one being applied to power batteries and the other to energy storage batteries. This indicates the accelerating commercialization of sodium battery technology, with several enterprises entering the demonstration phase.
7. Export Focus on Batteries and Raw Materials
Chinese energy storage products’ export mainly concentrated on batteries and raw materials. For instance, Zhejiang Narada Power Source Co., Ltd. won the bid for a lithium battery energy storage system project for an Italian power company. REPT BATTERO Energy Co., Ltd. supplied EnergyVault with a 10 GWh liquid-cooled energy storage battery system. EVE Energy Co., Ltd. provided Powin with a 10 GWh square lithium iron phosphate battery, while Xiamen Hithium Energy Storage Technology Co., Ltd. supplied 1.5 GWh of advanced energy storage battery products to the US energy storage system integrator Powin, LLC.
In terms of raw materials, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd. supplied ternary precursors to Pohang Chemical, Sinomine Resource Group Co., Ltd. provided lithium hydroxide to SK On, and Canmax Technologies Co., Ltd. supplied lithium hydroxide to Ford Motors.
8. Expanding Overseas Manufacturing
As of the first half of 2023, China had established 28 lithium battery manufacturing facilities overseas, including cell and module PACK factories. Among these, 20 factories revealed their planned production capacity, totaling more than 506.5 GWh.
The Chinese energy storage system market has witnessed significant growth in the first half of 2023. With lithium iron phosphate batteries taking the lead in both domestic and international orders, the industry’s focus remains on promoting safer and more efficient energy storage solutions. Moreover, the emergence of sodium batteries and the expansion of overseas manufacturing facilities signal a promising future for China’s energy storage sector on the global stage.