Japan is building a large battery power storage facility in order to accommodate all the renewable energy power generation in Hokkaido. Sumitomo is the builder of the facility, however there are other companies which do this. These can be very large contracts, and they can be dispersed around the country.
These battery facilities basically allow unstable, unreliable, volatile influxes of power to be directed into the battery facility, and modulated to the voltage of the main grid. The implication is that the 'irregularity' of wind and solar electricity supplies can be modulated before it goes into the grid. This ensures the ensure grid remains stable. These types of facilities will need to be built if renewable sources become significant. So Hokkaido is a centre of renewables, so they build a 'hub' there to serve private developers needing to export surpluses. An interesting issue is 'who bears the cost' of such 'ancillary plant'. In this case, it seems to be Tepco. Perhaps they are trying to recoup some credibility after the nuclear meltdown. But in Western countries, which like 'user pays', the question is whether people will accept it.
These 'Vanadium-Bromide' batteries have this capacity for being easily charged, recharged, of having good environmental credentials, and low-cost materials, as well as good cycle life. They don't have optimal power density, however they are among the best batteries around for this purpose as an industrial solution. Smaller countries are more likely to go for smaller batteries from a company like ZBB I suspect; though maybe they will manage their grid stability in other ways. The problem is perhaps the prospect of newer battery technologies. I'm pretty confident we will be looking at a 'technology leap' to carbon nanotube batteries in years to come. In any respect, for a speculative play, ZBB Energy Corp might make sense as a 'trade'. The company is trading at its lows now. If I am correct, and I don't know the specifics of the global market, then you'd think that grid stability issues are likely in those countries with variable wind and solar. i.e. Not deserts with no clouds, or in places with constant breeze, and not countries with no money, like the Pacific Islands.
Denmark and NZ are probable target markets for this type of development. NZ's population is not really growing though, so not there. Turkey, South Korea, China are possible markets. Look into ZBB. I've not looked at this stock for sometime. They were doing tests with some companies. Not sure where they are, or their target market. They were looking at 'container' size installations for regional markets. So it seems they feel the 'user' will be picking up the tab for installing these units rather than the grid manager.
Of course it remains to be seen if this is a sustainable solution given the slow lead time for these units. Are these a solution for households? I don't think so. I'd see more solar PV cells and wind turbines in future; but for a cheap battery solution offering greater power density, I suspect carbon nanotubes are 'the next thing'.
Asian property markets outperforming Japan Foreclosed Guide Philippines Property Guide
Profit from mining with Global Mining Investing eBook Global Mining Investing Community.