Every summer, the "power cut" drama comes as scheduled. Last year's "largest power shortage in history" is still fresh in my memory. This year's power outage has been staged again. From Sichuan and Chongqing in the west to Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai in the east, the power shortage began to spread rapidly.
This is a new energy storage method "long-term energy storage" that has appeared in the public eye. Will it be the next disruptive energy storage technology direction?
To date, the duration of long-duration energy storage has not been clearly defined, and the U.S. Department of Energy classifies it as 10 hours or more of continuous discharge at rated power. However, it is meaningless to focus only on the charging and discharging time away from the usage scene. A relatively accepted statement in the industry is an energy storage system that can realize charge-discharge cycles across the sky, across the month, and even across seasons.
Experts predict that the global energy system will eventually be built into a 100% renewable energy green power system without any traditional fossil energy. To achieve this goal, there is only one feasible solution that can be predicted: Renewable energy represented by "wind and scenery" builds a green, stable and adjustable power system.
Of course, long-term energy storage covers various energy storage methods other than electrochemistry. In the field of mechanical energy storage, in addition to the most cost-effective traditional pumped storage energy storage, a number of new energy storage technologies focusing on compressed air, gravity energy storage and other emerging energy storage technologies have gradually entered people's field of vision.
Variation in progress
In order to achieve carbon neutrality goals, thermal power plants will gradually withdraw from the historical stage and are expected to account for 10% or less of total power generation. When such stable base-load power generation resources are decreasing day by day, long-term energy storage + large-scale wind and solar projects will likely replace fossil energy as base-load power plants, which will have a profound impact on the mid- and late-stage construction of a zero-carbon power system.
However, long-term energy storage is still in the initial stage of development. In the future, it is necessary to pay attention to materials and equipment, system scheduling, optimized operation, and high-level talent training in different fields such as new energy storage, long-term energy storage, and hybrid energy storage.
At present, there are five major problems in the energy storage industry:
first, the purchase price of raw materials is still high, which affects the benefits of participating companies;
second, the price of energy storage products is at a low level, and the efficiency index has declined;
third, the problem of low-price competition is still Fourth
, the cost of the number of workers has risen, and the problem of difficulty in recruiting workers has become prominent;
fifth, the limited power supply has become prominent, and the pressure of enterprise production scheduling is great.
Like other hard technologies, long-term energy storage will face challenges in production capacity, supply chain, construction, operation and other aspects along the way from research and development, demonstration, implementation to scale. Risks in each link must be strictly controlled to achieve the established cost target.
New opportunities for energy storage
Experts predict that long-duration energy storage will be the "lowest cost flexibility solution" once renewables reach 60 to 70 percent of the power system's market share.
As of the end of October 2021, the cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy power generation in my country reached 1.002 billion kilowatts, breaking the 1 billion kilowatt mark, doubling from the end of 2015, accounting for 43.5% of the country's total installed power generation capacity. To achieve the carbon peaking goal in 2030, it is expected that by 2030, the total installed capacity of renewable energy power generation will reach more than 60%, surpassing thermal power to become the absolute main power source.
At that time, in case of windless weather or continuous rainy weather, since the installed capacity of thermal power plants is greatly reduced, to ensure the safe and stable power supply of the new power system, it is necessary for long-term energy storage power stations to provide the power required by the grid load.
Therefore, long-term energy storage is the key core technology for building a new energy storage system of "new energy + energy storage" and realizing the "dual carbon" goal. While accelerating the deployment of installed capacity of renewable energy power generation, it is also necessary to simultaneously deploy long-term energy storage systems to meet the needs of establishing a new power system of "new energy + energy storage".