Global Statistics Representing Space Battery Market Scenario
Space batteries play an important role in power storage in space. Generally, batteries convert chemical energy into electric energy. Colossal developments in the field of science, technology, and engineering have boosted the demand for space batteries. They are considered as one of the significant sources of portable electric energy. Apart from consumer goods, they are also employed across several space applications to fulfill energy needs. For instance, batteries are extensively used for the ignition of solid rocket motors and powering the guidance & control and electronics & communication system in rocket and launch vehicles. However, batteries required for these applications must possess high specific energy density and power. Today, different types of batteries are available in the market — nickel-based, lithium-based, and silver zinc-based. NASA prefers lithium-ion batteries.
The global space battery market is segmented by type, application, and sales channel.
Nickel-based batteries include combinations of nickel with cadmium, hydrogen, and others. Initially, nickel-cadmium batteries were highly preferred over traditional lead-acid batteries due to their fast recharge feature. Presently, several countries have banned nickel-cadmium batteries based on their highly toxic nature, which can potentially impact the environment causing pollution when landfilled or incinerated. This has compelled manufacturers to scale down the production of nickel-cadmium batteries and emphasize on manufacturing nickel-hydrogen and nickel-metal hydride batteries. However, the amendment of EU directive 2006/66/EC is planning to remove any exemptions of using nickel-cadmium in electronic devices. However, various amendments on the use of nickel-based batteries subsequently propelled the demand for lithium-ion, silver-zinc batteries, and others.
Launch vehicles, commonly known as carrier rockets, are the rocket-propelled vehicles used to carry a payload from earth’s surface to space, earth’s orbit or beyond. As of June 2019, 1186 nanosats are launched for various purposes like taking pictures to help meteorologists in predicting weather and tracking hurricanes, whereas some are used for telecommunication, broadcasting, and navigation. Navigation satellites determine the geographical location of an object like aircraft, ships, cars, trains, etc. GPS is a navigation system. It allows the user to determine their exact location anywhere in the world. In 2018, ISRO launched RNSS-1I Navigation Satellite. The growing demand of small satellites for telecommunication, navigation, and others is expected to boost the market growth. Earth-orbiting spacecraft, space shuttle, crew returns, and astronaut equipment are some of the other applications where space batteries are used.
Direct sales channel approaches customers directly without involving third-party members. This channel type is not usually profitable since it takes a significant amount of time to search and convert the client into an active customer. Besides, direct selling to end-users may not be a profitable business to the manufacturers as a large number of small orders can affect the profitability and increase the spending on logistics. However, technological advancements and the rising demand for customized products are anticipated to create lucrative market opportunities. Space battery manufacturers usually prefer a direct approach for marketing their products to association and government institutes.
Geographically, the space battery market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
The increasing focus in research and constant innovations in planning and design of space missions are among the primary growth drivers making North America amongst the dominant regions in the space battery market. Canada is one of the prominent economies in the region with its space sector actively investing in space technologies, which prioritize national security & safety, resource management, sovereignty, and environmental monitoring.
Europe is expected to hold the second-largest share in the market. This is attributed to the presence of prominent satellite manufacturers such as Airbus Defense & Space (headquartered in France), and Thales Alenia Space (France), and Surrey Satellite Technology (U.K.-based, owned by Airbus) with a strong focus on compact satellites. The European space economy was valued approximately USD 60 billion in 2017, and it employs around 230,000 people.
The Asia-Pacific space sector is snowballing, owing to the presence of vibrant space programs in economies such as India, China, Japan, and South Korea. The region’s space exploration programs are expected to propel the market demand for space batteries. For instance, Japan’s Multi-GNSS Development and India’s Mars Exploration Initiative are among the most ambitious projects in the region actively involving different channels to bolster space advancement.
Latin American countries have achieved relatively modest capabilities through their national programs, national collaborations. Space activities in the region are primarily led by the Brazilian and Argentinian space programs, which have contributed to the satellite segment’s growth. However, growth in the Middle East and Africa is predominantly driven by a proactive approach toward space programs by the African economies, which is expected to engender high consumption of space batteries during the forecast period.
Some of the notable players in the space battery market are Saft Groupe S.A., EaglePicher Technologies, GS Yuasa International Ltd., VARTA AG, and EnerSys.
What are Market Drivers?
Space Battery Market Segmentation