The market for flow batteries is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.41% approximately during the forecast period of 2020 – 2025. Factors such as easy replaceability of electrolyte have placed flow batteries as a potentially better substitute for lead-acid, lithium-ion, or solid-state batteries. The flow batteries have an advantage of instant recharge capability and a long-life span of almost 20 years, which in turn, is expected to positively impact the flow battery market in the coming years. Also, increasing demand for energy storage applications is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. On the other hand, factors such as high initial investment, low energy density and large tanks of electrolytes are required, etc. are hindering the market growth.
- Vanadium redox flow batteries are expected to witness a significant demand, as these batteries offer better advantages, technically and financially, which sets it apart in large-scale stationary applications.
- The upcoming energy storage projects that can be implemented using flow batteries is expected to create immense opportunities for the market studied.
- Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the market with majority of the demand coming from the countries such as the China and India.
Key Market Trends
Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries to Witness a Significant Growth
- Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) are expected to witness significant growth as they are considered as a front runner technology for meeting the growing demand in energy storage sector.
- The demand for VRFBs is high especially in the utility, off grid and minigrid markets. Several global companies such as Vionx Energy, redT, Rongke Power, and Gildemeister (now Stina Resources Ltd), are involved in rapid commercialization of this technology.
- Vanadium is a more significant contributor to the cost of vanadium redox flow batteries than key minerals in comparative battery technologies. 1KWh of VRFB storage requires 4.4 kg of vanadium, and 1MWh of VRFB storage requires 5.5mtV.
- Vanadium flow batteries can be quite large and best suited to industrial and utility scale applications. Also, the vanadium flow battery outcompetes Li-ion, and any other solid -state batteries for utility scale applications.
- In November 2019, flow battery struggles as Lithium-ion battery marches on by racing ahead on scale and cost-competitiveness, whereas, flow batteries are seen as ideal for large-scale, long-duration storage only. Preference for flow batteries is less when compared to Li-ion batteries.
- As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, the demand for solutions that can help control the flow of the energy generated is also increasing. Flow batteries using vanadium as the primary element have a lifespan of 20 years with up to 20,000 cycles and no capacity loss.
- Therefore, energy storage projects implemented using flow batteries are expected to boost the market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific to Dominate the Market
- Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the flow batteries market as the region has several operational flow battery installations with large power ratings.
- Countries such as China, India, Japan, and Australia are striving to boost their large-scale energy storage capacity through battery technologies that could, in turn, enhance electric stability.
- As of 2018, China holds the highest capacity of flow batteries installed compared to other countries in Asia-Pacific region.
- In January 2019, VRB Energy, a maker of flow batteries headquartered in Canada stated that the first phase of a 40MWh flow battery project in China has now been commissioned. The company stated that it has successfully commissioned a 3MW / 12MWh vanadium redox flow battery energy storage project which represents Phase 1 of the Hubei Zaoyang Utility-scale Solar and Storage Integration Demonstration Project, set to be 10MW / 40MWh when completed.
- This project represents a key step in utilizing China's rich vanadium resources to renewable energy development that will transform the energy industry and help alleviate environmental problems.
- In May 2019, the vanadium flow batteries set for grid scale project in Australia i.e. the Canadian company CellCube Energy storage systems and Pangea Energy have signaled their intention to install a 50MW/200 MWh energy storage system in Port Augusta, South Australia.
- As the demand for electric vehicles is increasing in Asia-Pacific region, hence the use of flow batteries is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period.
The global flow battery market is consolidated. The key companies in the market include RedFlow Ltd, redT energy plc, Primus Power Corporation, Vanadis Power GmbH, and ESS, Inc.
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