In China, universities are driving the research on next-generation grid storage

In China, universities are driving the research on next-generation grid storage


By: SGN Staff


By Steve Minnihan


Lux Research recently published the report Finding the Perfect Partner in the Global Grid Storage Market which outlines the complex grid storage partnership web including 949 strategic relationships spread among 877 relevant organizations.


One of the most interesting and telling trends is the clear focus on start-up financing and support in the American markets, contrasted with the heavy activity in fundamental university research in the Asian markets.


Asia is rapidly becoming a hotbed for grid storage innovation due to the massive global capacity of lithium-ion production already resident in China and a heavy focus on electric mobility and lithium-ion for consumer electronics. Furthermore, several notable lithium-ion companies from the U.S. have recently migrated their production to China.


Meanwhile, university research and technology parks have been contributing to significant research in molten-salt and flow batteries, most notably supporting the development and growth of flow battery companies Prudent Energy and Rongke Power.


A notable difference between Asia and the rest of the global market is in Asian involvement in start-ups and universities. Universities account for 15% of Asia's network of storage technology developers, compared to only 2% and 4% for Europe and the Americas, respectively. Yet 9% and 11% of Europe's and the Americas' networks are made up of start-ups, compared to only 6% in Asia.


This trend indicates the disproportionately higher focus and support of university research spinning directly into larger companies for more rapid commercialization rather than the more grassroots, entrepreneurial approach highlighted so favorably in Europe and the Americas.


Steven Minnihan is a senior analyst for the Grid Storage Intelligence service at Lux Research, which provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. For more information, visit the Lux Research site.


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