The European Union and China are dynamic markets for energy storage technologies. In recent months, both economies have experienced a slowdown of the industry. With the situation improving, companies are anticipating to resume their business activities and can benefit from updates on recent developments and emerging trends.
To share knowledge on European and Chinese energy storage policy and markets with business representatives from both economies, the Sino-German Energy Partnership, together with European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, the German Energy Storage Systems Association (BVES) and China Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA) organized an online conference on 12 May 2020. Experts from European and Chinese associations and companies presented insights on the market framework, discussed business challenges under the current circumstances and outlined needed policy changes to revitalize the sector’s development.
According to the invited experts, reduced production capacity, delayed projects, lower sales and a decrease in revenue were among the challenges that companies are currently facing. The business climate in the energy storage industry had, however, already suffered before, with less growth in 2019 than in previous years. The storage experts attributed the slowdown to missing market incentives as well as low electricity and gas prices. Their suggestion: a policy framework to reduce the comparative cost of energy storage, e.g. tax exemptions, and market mechanisms, e.g. commercialization of energy system services to enable stronger business cases. Despite the challenges, the experts from the industry associations concluded that the long-term outlook for the sector was positive. This opinion was also echoed by Chinese companies in a recently conducted survey by CNESA. More than 65% of the surveyed companies believed that new industry opportunities would emerge once the epidemic had passed.
Throughout the online conference, in presentations and discussions, speakers and audience acknowledged the important role of the energy storage industry to achieve national climate goals. Public and private sector action to develop a conducive market framework and determination to cooperate across boarders will decide about the growth of the industry in the coming months and years.