The main significance of shared energy storage lies in:
· Shared construction. Various enterprises such as power generation and electric power are self-built or jointly built, and finally many business entities jointly operate and share energy storage.
· Shared equipment. Long-term capacity rights and energy storage service leasing can be used to realize energy storage equipment leasing.
· Shared resource utilization. Based on the adjustment of the power system and other energy storage units, both peak shaving auxiliary services and frequency adjustment auxiliary services can be provided.
· Shared services. Meet the needs of many enterprises in energy management, grid electricity sales, customized electricity consumption and other services.
profitability is key
The profit mechanism is the key to the development of shared energy storage. The construction of the electricity market is advancing. As a new market entity, shared energy storage, participating in ancillary services and spot market rules is the "key among the keys".
Since 2021, due to the rise of upstream lithium materials, the price of the entire energy storage industry chain has risen across the board. The high initial installation cost has become one of the main factors hindering the construction of shared energy storage.
Although the upward trend of shared energy storage is obvious in 2022, voices of "false prosperity" of shared energy storage continue to appear in the market due to insufficient profitability.
Since the end of 2022, the cost pressure of raw materials such as lithium carbonate has been eased. From December 2022 to February 2023, lithium carbonate has maintained a three-month losing streak, and the average price of battery-grade lithium carbonate has fallen below 450,000 yuan/ton, a drop of more than 150,000 yuan/ton from the highest point in early November last year. tons, and the current price is still falling further.
Taking the market-oriented income from operating a mature power station as an example, the energy cost and capacity cost are the most important parts. Independent energy storage power stations participating in the electricity market can achieve very considerable income, with an IRR of 19%, among which peak-valley difference arbitrage, frequency regulation, spinning reserve, and capacity market supplementation are also important sources of income.
Since 2022, related business models have entered the early pilot stage. With the reduction of energy storage costs and the continuous improvement of the power mechanism, the commercialization of shared energy storage is accelerating.
Distribution storage transformation "lease" energy storage
Compared with mandatory storage, shared energy storage is expected to become the mainstream way of energy storage in the future.
First of all, the rate of return of shared energy storage is greatly improved compared with the mandatory allocation of wind and solar energy storage alone. At present, storage allocation is a cost item of wind and solar projects, and the profitability of reducing wind and solar curtailment is not high. According to relevant data calculations, the allocation of reserves will lower the overall yield of wind and solar projects by about 1%. However, shared energy storage allows a large number of wind and solar projects to turn allocation storage into "rental" energy storage.
Shared energy storage mainly includes charging methods such as peak-shaving service compensation, peak-valley price difference arbitrage (participating in power spot market transactions), capacity leasing, and capacity compensation.
Among ancillary services, the payback period of fire-storage joint frequency regulation projects is gradually shortening, and some projects will realize payback in as little as one year in 2022.
But FM economics is unstable. At present, it is still in the early stage of the frequency modulation market, and the policies of various provinces are being introduced one after another. There will be a certain time window, and the first-mover enterprises may get better profits in stages.
Based on the premise that leasing can effectively reduce the cost of allocation and storage, shared energy storage will be an inevitable trend of market-oriented choices.
Industry insiders pointed out that based on the current market situation, the first start may be to share energy storage within the power generation group, because there is little risk of insufficient leases within the group, and third-party energy storage will gradually enter.
What are the odds of hybrid energy storage?
It is worth noting that in response to the complexity of energy storage application scenarios, the industry has also proposed the concept of "hybrid energy storage".
From the perspective of various technical routes, the comprehensive performance of lithium battery energy storage is the most balanced. Pumped storage is mainly good at capacity-based long-term peak regulation. Supercapacitors are mainly used to improve power quality. For power stations with a duration of more than 4 hours, capacity-type power stations such as liquid flow energy storage solutions and compressed air have better advantages.
In order to meet diverse needs, energy storage is likely to need to adopt a hybrid energy storage method to achieve maximum efficiency.
It is worth mentioning that the mass production of sodium-ion batteries has started a "countdown". In the long run, the cost of sodium-ion batteries is low, which can realize the differentiated competition of enterprises; but in the short term, sodium batteries are still in the early stage of industrialization.
Hybrid energy storage is called an "optimization solution" for hybrid energy storage in some application scenarios. According to the analysis of high-tech energy storage, with the deepening of energy storage, in order to meet the needs of different usage scenarios, achieve optimal availability and comprehensive cost, hybrid energy storage may become one of the popular routes for shared energy storage.