The Energy Taiwan 2021 held in Nangang this year saw emergence of energy storage, with more energy storage-related businesses participating in the expo and more international companies and renewable energy firms engaging in the industry. Active movements in the industry lately include Leader Energy Storage Technology was made the exclusive agent of Powin Energy, an American energy storage integrator, in Taiwan, Billion Electric has Taiwan’s first energy storage system passed by Taipower’s AFC test, and TPE, funded by Green Life, was awarded a 20 MW energy storage project through an auction. This indicates Taiwanese businesses’ determination to develop energy storage.
Dependence on foreign cells and PCS
While energy storage is on the rise, InfoLink has mentioned earlier that Taiwan’s energy storage industrial chain relies on foreign cell and PCS. This led to two types of business models in Taiwan, as InfoLink observed in the expo. The first is partnering with foreign brands or imports energy storage systems like Leader Energy, which has gained exclusive rights to sell systems of Powin, or Billion Electric, which uses system from SolarEdge and cells from Koham. SIC last year also imported Tesla’s energy storage systems. Another model is purchase lithium battery cells and PCS from foreign suppliers and then assemble by themselves or with other companies or through system integrators in Taiwan, such as PHE Power Solution, Shinfox Energy, and Sysgration.
Against the backdrop of dependence on cell and PCS imports, the economies of scale in Taiwan is less than 40%, despite NTD 200 billion-scale by 2030 projected by InfoLink. Moreover, with a trend to develop long-duration storage, the scale will be pressured again. Having said that, Taiwanese businesses can find their footing in system and platform integration, as well as software such as EMS and AI in smart grid.
Integration of solar with energy storage is a road must be taken. China, for example, has introduced policies for solar-plus-storage applications, while Europe and the U.S. saw application of storage in renewable energy facilities. In Taiwan, energy storage is in the nascent stage, and only Taipower provides Automatic Frequency Control (AFC) services thus far. Although several businesses, especially PV manufacturers, would like to engage in solar-plus-energy storage, they are still observing due to unclear policies. The electronic dynamic regulation (E-dReg) service launched by Taipower recently indicates that the integration of storage is accelerating grid transformation in Taiwan. Application of energy storage in solar power or wind power will become prevalent with growing popularity of storage.
Taipower has raised the capacity target set for 2025 to 1 GW. Based on the existing feeder standard, registration of auction has been active since the beginning of the second half, with more than 2.2 GW under review and continues increasing. The great number of applications far exceeded Taipower’s expectation, forcing the utility to make response within short time. While it is a good thing that businesses are active in developing energy storage in Taiwan, it brings price and equipment safety issues, for companies or investors eye energy storage market after auction mechanism is introduced for AFC service and Taipower offers favorable prices. In light of this, how related sectors manage the situation or utilize different strategies to facilitate the industry growth will play a big part in the nation’s energy storage development.
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