UPER Energy's presence at Japan Solar + Energy Storage Summit: China needs to enhance the value of its energy storage market
The conference, Japan's largest summit focusing on opportunities in the PV and energy storage market, gathered together the country's major power generation companies, solar project developers and other participants in the industry.
Japan Solar + Energy Storage Summit & Expo 2018 was held in Osaka, Japan between October 29 and 30. The conference, Japan's largest summit focusing on opportunities in the PV and energy storage market, gathered together the country's major power generation companies, solar project developers and other participants in the industry. UPER Energy was among one of the many invited, at which it spoke about several issues currently the industry was confronting, including current Chinese market situation, as well as current challenges in operation and maintenance (O&M) sector of power stations.
Over the first 6-month of 2018, the amount of newly installed distributed PV capacity in China has far exceeded previously anticipated annual target. Japan's rooftop and distributed PV sectors have also achieved significant growth over the last several years. However, compared to concentrated PV stations, distributed PV stations are currently facing several challenges, including smaller size, more geographical difficulties and lack of personnel, making it harder to properly implement O&M after construction.
UPER Energy's UniCare® O&M platform, which leverages a design of centralized control centers for distributed stations O&M, is constantly collecting real-time data, enabling basic information management and malfunction-order-dispatch system. The platform provides O&M services to both large-scale and small distributed stations. It is believed that, by 2030, the renewable energy generation is expected to account for 35% of total power generation in Japan. Accordingly, Zhang Chengfei, Chainman's Assistant of UPER Energy, illustrated great confidence in the country's PV and energy storage market.
Speaking of ideal business model for distributed PV + energy storage, Mr. Zhang said that the coexistence of multiple energy sources can be expected to last for some time. As one of the forward-looking technology which generates new income streams and stimulates new business modes, user-side energy storage systems will play a leading role in response to demands and providing auxiliary services for power grids.
Mr. Zhang indicated that energy storage industry, especially the electrochemical energy storage sector, which is at its early stage of development in China, is temporarily facing some bottlenecks. First, it is very difficult to generate profits from electrochemical energy storage products under the existing market-oriented electricity pricing mechanisms and trading systems. Second, the market volume of O&M services for power storage stations is much smaller compared to that for PV stations. Furthermore, there are only a few market players currently provide O&M services to energy storage stations.
As a global leading third-party power asset management service provider, UPER Energy rolled out Online + Offline business model after a thorough market research. The innovative management approach combines the collection and monitoring of real-time data from the online platform. Meanwhile, O&M professionals are on duty at the power stations around the clock, providing feedbacks and smooth communication with operation center right after any malfunctions are detected. The data collected will be analyzed to optimize the energy storage system, further improving stations' O&M reachability.
Recently, 9MW/4.478MWh energy storage and frequency modulation project at Inner Mongolia's Xinfeng Power Plant was successfully put into operation by UPER Energy. UPER Energy had optimized the overall performance with its unique O&M platform and energy storage management system. This West Inner Mongolia Grid's first frequency modulation service project combines both energy storage systems and thermal power units, marking UPER Energy's expansion into the field of energy storage and frequency modulation in the Chinese market.
The global energy storage market has now reached 140GW, of which over 97 percent is water-pumped storage in generation and transmission phases. However, on the user side, market volume is less than 1GW, yet the Chinese market is even smaller. These figures show the overall potential of the distributed PV and energy storage market. Mr. Zhang concluded that Chinese energy storage industry is at a crossroad where it needs to plan and deploy electrochemical energy storage systems in more renewable projects, raising overall consumption level in wind and solar; as well as to establish a friendly market and electricity pricing mechanisms, fully realizing the value of energy storage in the fields of module frequency, load modulation, backup power supply, black-start, demand response, and other ancillary services.