RE+, the most influential renewable energy event in the North America, was held from September 20 to 22 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year, the RE+ event is a combination of Solar Power International (SPI), Energy Storage International (ESI), and Smart Energy Week. Solar-plus-storage system suppliers crowded the venue, as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) gives rise to another renewable energy boom.
As the U.S. passed the IRA, investing in local manufacturing receives heated discussion. Whilst displaying the uniqueness of their products, suppliers discussed the idea of building production plants in the U.S.
The world is estimated to have 45-50 GWh of energy storage capacity this year. Among which, the U.S. market is expected to contribute 20 GWh of market size, a world-leading figure that is two times larger than a year before. FTM market is the major driving force, accounting for 85%. Therefore, most cell manufacturers or integrators focus on the FTM market.
However, given policy every state has and trends of different sectors, from the FTM market to the residential ESS market, manufacturers are still exploring ways to acquire more detailed information.
Residential ESS market develops rapidly and has the lowest technological threshold, thus attracts many companies to join the game. Most residential ESS suppliers give products to local distributors for them to sell. Residential products are the most common at the event.
Compared with the Intersolar in Germany, the RE+ saw more manufacturers exhibiting residential and C&I energy storage products, intensifying the competition. CATL brought forward C&I energy storage cabinets for both events. BYD displayed utility-scale ESS and residential products separately in different booths. Pylontech, Goodwe, Growatt, SolarEdge, Panasonic, Sonnen, Zonergy, FOX, and Wotai Energy all presented residential solutions.
The IRA only affects lithium-ion battery manufacturing for the EV battery sector, while the ESS battery sector remains intact. However, as the EV battery sector is the major driving force for cell businesses, the impact of IRA shall be considered.
Cell manufacturers have more active construction plans in or around the U.S, such as Mexico, than PV companies. They will begin with the cell-to-pack in the first phase to meet the IRA’s local assembly requirement.
Some smaller companies consider using more cells made by South Korean manufacturers, in fear of further impacts from the IRA.
Read more: RE+: IRA attracts investments to the U.S.
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