China and South Korea dominate the global development of storage batteries
TOKYO — It was 1991 when Sony introduced the world to the first commercial lithium-ion battery, which would go on to revolutionize personal electronics.
Almost three decades on and it’s time for a new battery technology as Japan’s industry is being called on to build storage devices for electric vehicles as well as those needed to make renewable energy sources like the wind and sun dependable.
Sun and wind farms will never come into widespread use until the energy harvested from them can be efficiently stored. Efficient storage batteries will be needed by power plants, factories, homes, retail outlets and public facilities.
But Japanese battery makers are being swamped in the global market by Chinese and South Korean companies.
They are even under pressure to improve their game at home, where new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged that Japan will achieve zero carbon emissions.
The global market for stationary storage batteries is forecast to double to nearly $23.9 billion in 2035 from where it was in 2019, according to research by Fuji Keizai Group.