Japanese trading house Itochu [8001:JP] is set to invest up to JPY100bn (USD678m) by 2030 in battery storage businesses, with the goal of facilitating the efficient utilization of renewable energy in Japan, as reported by Nikkei Asia on September 7. Itochu has formed a partnership with Akaysha Energy, one of the world’s largest storage battery companies based in Australia. Together, they plan to install 10 to 20 big batteries across Japan and take advantage of government funding amounting to billions of dollars allocated for large-scale battery projects. The Japanese government has already issued the first round of subsidies, totaling USD155m, which covers half of the construction costs for batteries exceeding 10 megawatts (MW).
Japan’s growing demand for large-scale batteries is driven by their critical role in ensuring the availability and reliability of power grids. These batteries have the capability to store electricity generated from intermittent energy sources, such as solar and wind, and release it during periods of peak demand. In June 2023, Japan unveiled a plan to attract JPY150tr (USD1.06tr) in investments over the next decade to support the country’s transition to green energy. This initiative involves mobilizing both public and private funds to promote the widespread adoption of large-scale storage batteries. By leveraging substantial government subsidies, Itochu intends to establish up to 20 large storage battery facilities primarily in Japan by 2030, with the goal of achieving a total battery storage capacity of 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh). This would enable the company to capture a market share ranging from 10% to 20% in the domestic renewable energy storage market.