Mergers and alliances mark the beginning of the war for global battery market

Mexico City, June 29 (For Concha Raso | Courtesy: elEconomista Energy ) .- The deployment of mass energy storage has gone from being a utopia to become reality thanks to technological advances in recent years.

Considered as a key tool in energy decarbonization, it is breaking records in the deployed capacity and announcement of new projects worldwide. The United States has been the region’s fastest growing market, with 221 megawatts in 2015. Forecasts indicate that by 2020 will exceed 1,600 megawatts.

Many companies have seen clear business and have not hesitated to make a move to expand market or put your foot in this business. This is the case of the French oil company Total, which has recently launched a friendly takeover bid for 100% of the capital of Saft by 950 million euros as part of its plans to accelerate its development in the renewable electricity sector. The offer, which has received the unanimous support of the Supervisory Board of Saft, provides for the payment of 36.50 euros per share and values the battery manufacturer nine times its EBITDA 2015.

Speaking to elEconomista Energy , Ignacio Quiles, CEO of Saft Spain, he said he hopes “this agreement will bear fruit and that Saft will become a member of the relevant family Total”. While this is being resolved, “the Spanish subsidiary we remain committed to the 2020 Strategic Plan, whose central focus is customer orientation”.

Although they have not disclosed the details of the agreement, Engie strengthens its position in the market for storage batteries in the United States with the announcement of the purchase of 80% of Green Charge Networks, which has a current portfolio of storage projects 48 megawatt hour. Thanks to their systems analysis and software algorithms, the American company develops, operates and optimizes CPAP Batteries systems for its customers.

With the union of both companies, Engie expand its range of advanced solutions for clients in the public, commercial and industrial sectors and strengthen decentralized energy solutions outside the network and the reliability of the power grid.

In the field of electric vehicles it has also emerged a new alliance between Japan’s Nissan and Enel power to convert electric vehicles that manufactures the first mobile batteries thanks to V2G technology. This is a pilot project in the UK in which users participarán100 Nissan electric cars and help consumers save on their electricity bill. The system allows owners to connect to the network to charge the car battery during periods of low demand and economic rate, and then use the stored electricity in your home when costs are higher and even sell the surplus to the network and earn extra income.

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The same characteristics that meet Nissan xStorage, the new domestic battery for energy storage that Japan just launched by the technology company Eaton, 4.2 kilowatt hours of power, which will be available from September for about 4,000 euros and of providing sell 100,000 units over the next five years.

New alliances involve the emergence of new competitors for Tesla, the US maker of electric cars that just a year ago presented its new business unit, Tesla Energy, dedicated to the creation and marketing of batteries, with the debut of its model star, powerwall home storage battery.

Twelve months later, the company led by Elon Musk has confirmed the sale of 2 000 500 units powerwall 7 kilowatts in the first quarter, as the model of 10 kilowatts was removed two months ago due to low cycle load which already allows its high price.

Although record sales take-German Sonnen, in the same period has sold 2 000 600 units of its domestic battery Eco, mainly in the German market, although the company has also recorded sales in Italy and the United States.

STORAGE PROJECTS SPAIN

 

Spain currently has 66 projects and a storage capacity of 9 gigawatts, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). The most important contributions correspond to hydroelectric projects pumping and solar thermal plants, although there are a few projects iónlitio energy storage batteries and other technologies.

Canary has become a place of reference for storage issues are concerned. In 2013, Endesa commissioned three floors of energy storage in La Palma, Gran Canaria and La Gomera with technologies ultra capacitors, electrochemical batteries and flywheel, respectively, three years later materialize in improvements in the quality of supply and system stability.

With this initiative, Endesa has made the Store storage project aimed at small isolated electrical systems, in order to achieve results that allow you to apply to large-scale economic viability reality.

Meanwhile, Red Electrica de Spain is working on a storage project in the islands, particularly in Gran Canaria, which includes the construction of the hydroelectric plant of reversible pumping ChiraSoria, 200 megawatts of power, and its connection with St. Agatha substation through a 220 kilovolt power line.

“This is a key element in the implementation in the coming years the new energy model in the Canary Islands, based on renewable energies and interconnections between islands”, comment from the company.

The new infrastructure will involve an investment of around 300 million euros and the creation of 2,000 jobs, 500 of which will be direct.

Gas Natural Fenosa has opted for lithium-ion batteries and participate in the demonstration project BESS (Battery Energy Storage System, its acronym in English), which began its operationalization last September with the aim of improving performance an electrical substation of Union Fenosa Gas in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).

Lithium-ion batteries have been developed by Toshiba and have advanced Scibtm technology, particularly suitable for operation in distribution networks thanks to its high reliability, and long life of more than 10 thousand cycles of loading and unloading, and high capacity and effectiveness in low temperature operation.

Iberdrola’s commitment to innovation has led the company to invest 200 million euros last year in R + D + i. Within the scope of integration of renewable, one of the projects in which the power is immersed is the Smartwind project, which is implementation of models and simulations storage associated with wind farms.

While leadership it takes in energy storage with pumping hydroelectric technology, with 4 000 400 megawatts installed, and has to his credit with the largest facility of its kind in Europe: the complex Cortes-La Muela in Valencia .

For the period 2016-2020, the company will proceed with the Alto Tamega hydro project in Portugal, which will add a capacity of 1,160 megawatt pumped storage and will have an investment of 1,600 million euros. The plant will be operational in 2023.

According to Ignacio Sanchez Galan, chairman of Iberdrola, “the hydroelectric pumped storage is the only efficient technology that can be implemented on a large scale, since the cost of this technology today is four times lower than the battery more efficient. ”

With regard to solar power plants with storage, two recent reports argue that they are essential for incorporating more renewable and achieve CO2-free electrical systems. In addition to the value added to the power system in operational terms and capacity, this technology adds inertial stability to the network and have a very positive macroeconomic impact.




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