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  • Chinese lithium-ion battery sales reach $11bn in 2016

    Sales of lithium-ion batteries in China totalled Chinese renminbi (Rmb) 78.63bn ($11.44bn) in 2016, according to figures released by the China Industrial Association of Power Sources (CIAPS). The combined output of batteries produced by all companies was 46.67bn watt hours (Wh), with total sales of 43.45 bn Wh, including exports. Of this, lithium iron phosphate (LiFeP) made up 64.1% of sales, with ternary polymer batteries making up 31.1%, lithium manganese oxide (LMO) 2.75%, and lithium titanium oxide 2%. continue reading
  • Battery disruptor Sonnen sees market shake-up with 'free' power deal

    Australia's traditional large utilities will be history within 10 years if leading German residential battery provider Sonnen has its way. Europe's number one battery player is to introduce its revolutionary free power deal to its Australian customers within two months, a step that managing director Oliver Koch expects will help make conventional power supply offers obsolete. "We believe that traditional energy infrastructure and traditional energy companies will be dead in 10 years' time," Mr Koch said. The "Sonnen flat" deal provides free power to households buying the Bavaria-based company's integrated solar and storage system, even for the extra electricity a home needs to take from the grid beyond its rooftop output. continue reading
  • Solar power battery storage would solve SA's electricity problems, company says

    South Australian-based renewable energy company Zen Energy is working to build a $100-million solar power plant with 100 megawatts of battery storage in the region. Chairman Professor Ross Garnaut said the battery would "solve most" of the state's energy problems and if increased by a further 50MW it would solve "all" energy issues. "The blackouts of the past year would not have happened if this was in place," he said. "The load shedding problems of two weeks ago would be resolved, the frequency and voltage problems of last September would be resolved, the frequency control issues that have arisen a few times would have been resolved. "We think that it can make a major contribution both to grid stability and also to provide a buffer for when peak demand for power exceeds supply from other sources." continue reading
  • Solar and storage installs set to treble on back of "exceptional" battery market growth

    In its 2017 Battery Market Report, Australian solar consultancy SunWiz predicts a big year ahead for battery uptake, with market growth expected to treble over the next 12 months, after a 2016 that clocked up 6750 battery installations, or 52MWh - up from 500 in 2015. To put this in further context, SunWiz notes that that there were 130,000 rooftop solar system installations in 2016, meaning that, effectively, 5 per cent of solar installations included batteries in the past year. continue reading
  • Tesla's battery revolution just reached critical mass

    Tesla Motors is making a huge bet that millions of small batteries can be strung together to help kick fossil fuels off the grid. The idea is a powerful one - one that's been used to help justify the company's $US5 billion ($6.6 billion) factory near Reno, Nevada - but batteries have so far only appeared in a handful of true, grid-scale pilot projects. That changes this week. Three massive battery storage plants - built by Tesla, AES, and Altagas - are all officially going live in southern California at about the same time. continue reading
  • India's First Grid-Scale Battery Project Signals a Coming Boom for Energy Storage

    India has launched its first grid-scale battery storage system amid ambitious plans to integrate 175 gigawatts of renewable energy into the power system by 2022. Commissioned and operated by Tata Power Delhi Distribution, the 10-megawatt Advancion energy storage array is a joint project by Mitsubishi and the U.S. energy storage company AES. Designed for peak load management, the project couldn't have come at a better time for India, said to Logan Goldie-Scot, an energy storage expert at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "India could add 10 gigawatts of renewables every year from 2017," he said. "Rooftop solar is becoming the fastest-growing segment in the renewable sector due to strong demand from commercial and industrial users." "Storage is relatively more crucial for the growth of renewables in India as compared to many other countries, as India does not have a lot of gas-based power generation to balance the grid," said Jasmeet Khurana, associate director of the consultancy Bridge to India. continue reading
  • Chile to invite bids on value-added lithium tech in April

    Chile will hold a tender in April to encourage companies to use its vast lithium resources to move it up the value chain with cathode or battery production, the head of the country's development agency told Reuters on Tuesday. The tender to develop value-added lithium technology in Chile should conclude by November with two Chinese companies and a Korean associate having shown interest, Bitran said in an interview late Monday. "To make value-added products in Chile will be huge," Bitran said. "It allows us to create a significant industry." Chile currently exports high-grade lithium carbonate but the process of turning it into cathodes and batteries takes place elsewhere. Companies bidding in the tender will have access to cheaper lithium. continue reading
  • Centrica: Floodgates on battery storage investment to open in 2017

    Tim Barrs, who leads energy storage sales under the firm's British Gas brand, says non-domestic users looking to shift loads away from peak price periods and monetise assets via grid balancing services should plan their investments now to beat the rush. The supply of battery cells, a global commodity, may initially be the limiting factor. "But I think when it happens, it will happen very, very quickly," he says. "So I expect that rush to start being noticeable by June this year." For Industrial & Commercial businesses, two key functions provided by batteries are load shifting and grid balancing, says Barrs. Barrs says dynamic frequency response, which calls for 2-second response times to meet Grid requirements, can last for up to 30 minutes but typically an event is only around 15 seconds in duration. This dynamic response is suited to battery assets, and is a balancing service for which National Grid pays a premium. It requires providers push power onto or absorb power from the grid to moderate frequency and keep the system stable. continue reading
  • German power battery storage to grow three-fold this year: study

    Germany is on a course to derive 80 percent of its power supply from renewables by 2050, having achieved a share of 30 percent in 2016, while the expansion of networks to transport the weather-driven production lags far behind targets. This is where batteries come in, to supply super fast balancing services, in order to ensure that the system runs efficiently. "We observe a rising trend for storage batteries to be used to stabilize grids," said author Christoph Hankeln. Through the batteries, grids will receive short-term boosts to cope with varying green power output. Germany's power grid industry will expand big electricity battery capacity more than three-fold this year to 200 megawatts (MW) from 60 MW, German advisory group Team Consult said in a study of the new business area. continue reading
  • New Chinese EV subsidies may boost local lithium prices

    The announcement of a new strategy for the subsidisation of EVs was made in the last week of 2016, ending months of uncertainty as to what financial support would be made available to carmakers and prompting speculation as to what this might mean for lithium, a key mineral in the manufacture of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, used in the cars. The primary aim of the policy remains to increase EV usage, with a target of 5m units on the road by 2020, up from an estimated 500,000 in 2016. The subsidy will be cancelled at this point, following a gradual phase out. It is unclear when the effects of the new policy will be felt by the EV market. Sources have indicated January vehicle prices will be unchanged, with a possible change in February, once local authorities have confirmed their individual subsidy levels. continue reading
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