Submitted by Ethical Markets Media
The Green Transition Scoreboard® Fall Update, Batteries and Storage Charging the Green Transition, focuses on battery and storage investments, reporting a total of $17.4 billion in private investments in R&D for battery and storage technologies. Findings are compiled from 2007 to 2014 and include the top 30 technology producers. The Update focuses on investments in batteries and storage as enhancing and optimizing the use of renewable energy and efficiency. It also highlights best practices and the emerging breakthroughs which are directing batteries and storage to become an important sub-sector of green technologies.
Sectors which have significant R&D in batteries and storage include: Consumer, Energy, Industrials, Materials and Technology. Within the major sectors, the most heavily invested industries include: technology services which includes IT, $4.5 billion; electrical equipment, $3.6 billion; hardware, $2.7 billion; chemicals, $2.2 billion; renewable energy, $1.9 billion; and automotive, $1.8 billion. The countries with leading private investments in the battery and storage sub-sector include: Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain, UK and the USA, with Japanese companies leading the way.
“The race for better, cheaper batteries for applications for consumer electronics and devices, electric cars, home storage as well as those for aircraft and system-wide electricity generation helps to integrate intermittent renewable sources solar and wind into an aging fleet of centralized power plants linked by leaking transmission lines, regional and national grids,” says Hazel Henderson, Founder and CEO, Ethical Markets Media.
Given the flurry of activity, one of the surprising findings of the report is the limited presence of the automotive industry. There is a perception that the automotive industry is leading the charge, yet the automotive industry doesn’t even break into the top five industries for battery and storage R&D, despite the hype around batteries for automotive use and the branding effort pushed by companies such as Tesla. In actuality, the automotive industry does not make batteries, instead outsources as Tesla does to Panasonic which also supplies Subaru’s hybrid-electric vehicles.
With the automotive industry outsourcing and the home market poised for rapid development over the next several years, over 250% growth expected in the USA, the big story right now is in industrial applications. For example, a Siemens/LG Chem system is being used at a steel mill in Germany, clearly an industrial application, rather than the “soft” or “green” applications commonly associated with battery storage. GTS research finds a limited number of pure-play companies and limited number of companies offering both energy production and energy storage. Instead, one finds collaborations such as the Alstom-Saft consortium in France using Alstom’s converter and Saft’s lithium-ion battery.
The Green Transition Scoreboard® tracks private investment in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Life Systems, Green Construction and Corporate R&D totaling over $6.22 trillion since 2007. The green transition relies on technologies which maximize energy efficiency from renewable sources, increasingly requiring batteries and storage for full optimization.
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* Reforming finance and growing the green economy worldwide* Ethical Markets provides news and perspective on Climate Prosperity, Reforming Global Finance, SRI and more by gathering information from around the world with analysis by our editor-in-chief, Hazel Henderson.
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