The battery storage market in the United States is plagued with many procurement challenges, which include making sure that consumers understand the performance claims and warranties that come from manufacturers and ensuring the sturdiness of the supply chain. Adam Walters, an experienced renewable energy lawyer, says the growing battery storage procurement market in the U.S. is chaotic.
In an interview, he stated that, unlike in 2011 when China surpassed American and European solar PV manufacturers when it began offering incentives, the storage space will be more balanced, even with the involvement of Chinese manufacturers in the industry.
He explained that the battery-storage market would be more balanced with players from different parts of the world, even with manufacturers remaining competitive, noting that unlike solar panels, battery systems wouldn’t be easily commoditized, given the different technologies used to manufacture them. He adds that the battery controller or the energy-management system would be the focus as a lot is considered, including climatic conditions, temperature, power purchase agreement, firmware and operating battery systems.
Walters believes that since the technology is a bit more complicated in comparison with solar panels, companies will work to optimize their systems for market conditions while the prices for battery storage systems reduced as more countries manufactured their distinct products. This, he asserted, would make it harder for one country to completely dominate the market.
In the interview, Walters also explained that the value of the battery system would be determined by how the system stored the energy, both when idle and when in use, as well as how it discharged the energy. He noted that the main difference between battery systems and PV was that availability is a crucial part of the battery system’s value. In addition to this, he asserts that while the battery storage procurement market is still chaotic, there are a few things that are beginning to emerge with regard to standard offerings.
A good example of this would be round-trip efficiency. The seasoned energy lawyer explains that at present a battery contract that didn’t have round-trip efficiency guarantees that run in the same duration as the energy retention warranty was a rare occurrence. He also noted that nowadays, most companies warranted round-trip efficiency for a decade or even 15 years at times, just as they warranted energy retention. He asserted that this wasn’t common a couple of years ago and added that as more time went by, it would become more standardized.
As companies such as StorEn Technologies Inc. deepen their penetration in the energy storage market, some of the procurement and supply chain bottlenecks are likely to gain the attention they deserve as the deployment of energy storage systems reaches significant levels for utility-scale and industrial use.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StorEn Technologies Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/StorEn
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