PROJECT | Contributed Content, China
Steve Minnihan

What Chinese universities research on next-generation grid storage tech means for Asia


One of the most interesting and telling trends discussed on the report, “Finding the Perfect Partner in the Global Grid Storage Market” 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.

This report published by Lux Research outlined the complex grid storage partnership web including 949 strategic relationships spread among 877 relevant organizations.

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.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Asian Power. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Steve Minnihan

Steve Minnihan

Steve Minnihan is a Senior Analyst at Lux Research. He leads the company’s Grid Storage Intelligence service while simultaneously exploring new research areas. In this role, he speaks first-hand with innovative companies, start-ups, government agencies, and research groups that are developing technologies in the fields of power and energy storage. 

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