Last year, Europe achieved a battery storage capacity of 4.5GW and is projected to reach 95GW by 2050, based on data from LCP Delta and Aurora Energy Research. LCP Delta previously reported that 1.9GW of this was grid-scale storage, including the UK.
In their recent edition of the European Market Monitor on Energy Storage (EMMES), produced with the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), LCP Delta anticipates an additional 6GW of battery storage to be added in 2023.
Energy Storage Energy storage, the act of preserving energy for future use, is pivotal for enhancing renewable energy production, bolstering energy efficiency, and ensuring energy security.
To meet the EU's climate goals and address the energy crisis that emerged in autumn 2021, a significant transformation of energy system is imperative. This revamped system should prioritize heightened energy efficiency and the swift and expansive adoption of variable renewable energy sources. Crucially, this shift demands increased flexibility, which entails the system's capability to respond to the grid's dynamic needs, managing the fluctuating demand and supply seamlessly.
Maintaining a precise equilibrium between electricity consumption and production is vital for the stability of any grid. Flexibility solutions facilitate this balance by storing excess electricity across varying durations, enabling its use during times of high demand. Studies indicate a significant correlation between the surge in renewable energy usage and the need for flexibility within the energy infrastructure.
Energy storage, besides enhancing flexibility, can moderate price volatility, reduce peak-time electricity costs, and enable consumers to tailor their consumption based on pricing and needs. Furthermore, it aids in electrifying diverse sectors, like housing and transportation. For instance, electric vehicles can balance the electricity grid and even power households, while thermal storage can advance energy integration and decarbonize the heating and cooling domains.
The European Commission took initial steps towards the standardization and promotion of energy storage by releasing guidance documents in June 2016, which defined and set principles for energy storage. Following this, a staff working document in 2017 elaborated on the role of electricity in the same context. This groundwork laid the foundation for the adoption of the "Clean energy for all Europeans package" in 2019.
Current Storage Landscape:
As of a 2020 study, pumped hydro storage dominates the energy storage scenario in the EU. However, battery projects are rapidly gaining traction. In addition to these, various emergent electricity storage technologies are making significant strides in development, increasingly posing as competitive options in the market.
Competitiveness Progress Reports:
From 2020 onwards, the Commission has been releasing annual reports detailing the competitive landscape of clean energy technologies. The report from 2022 emphasizes renewable hydrogen production through water electrolysis and batteries, given their pivotal roles in decarbonizing the energy and transport sectors.
Commission's 2023 Recommendation:
The "Energy Storage – Underpinning a decarbonised and secure EU energy system" recommendation was ushered in on 14 March 2023. This document:
Addresses EU Nations: The recommendation advises EU countries on the pivotal factors that can accelerate energy storage deployment. Key pointers include acknowledging the dual role storage plays as both consumer and producer, ensuring adherence to the EU's electricity regulatory framework, eliminating barriers like double taxation, and streamlining permitting procedures.
Financial Recommendations: The document suggests enhancing the predictability of long-term revenue to ease financing, such as permitting storage operators to get compensated for specific services they currently offer. Additionally, EU countries are advised to consider competitive bidding procedures (compliant with state aid rules) to augment flexibility and refine certain parameters in capacity mechanisms.
Staff Working Document: The supplementary document, SWD(2023) 57 final, underscores the importance of storage in the broader energy transition. It sheds light on the paramount need for flexibility, reliability, and stability to meet the EU's decarbonization objectives. The document also offers a worldwide perspective on storage deployment beyond the EU, concluding with a compilation of best practices.
Hydrogen offers significant storage potential, making it invaluable for power grids. This potential means renewable energy can be stored in ample amounts and for extended durations.
By addressing both surpluses and shortages of power generation, hydrogen enhances energy efficiency and grid flexibility. In recognition of its importance, the EU instituted a hydrogen strategy in 2020 as a central pillar for its energy system integration.
The global appetite for batteries is surging, attributed to their capability to amplify the inclusion of renewables in energy systems and foster greener industry and transport sectors. This, in turn, impacts electrification across multiple sectors.
As a part of the EU's vision, the Energy Union's governance framework and the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries serve as foundational steps towards establishing a sustainable, competitive, and globally integrated battery industry in the EU. The effectiveness of these initiatives was assessed in the Commission's 2019 report on battery strategy implementation.
Established in 2019, Batteries Europe represents the collaborative effort between the European Commission and key battery industry stakeholders. This platform, part of the European Battery Alliance, has an extensive network of contributors and operates with a robust governance framework.
Six specialized working groups carry its directives forward, largely drawing from the foundational work of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) Action 7. Their primary aim? To ensure Europe's competitive edge in the global battery market.
The majority of new battery-related research projects in the EU fall under the BATT4EU Partnership, which has allocated €925 million for its 7-year funding cycle. Furthermore, several EU nations are collaborating on significant battery research and innovation initiatives known as Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
As a 10+ years energy battery manufacturer and innovator, ACE Battery are also pouring efforts in the battery research, looking for development of energy battery solutions for this industry. We even have programs and profects in the European countries, working with local companies to contribute to the battery energy storage.
The European Commission's Bridge initiative connects projects centered on smart grids, energy storage, digitalization, and island energy solutions, funded primarily through Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programs. A noteworthy accomplishment from this group came in 2018 when they released a comprehensive report on batteries. This report, influenced by insights from 15 projects, predominantly centered on the integration of batteries into the energy ecosystem.