Environmental Dimension

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1. What is the impact of energy storage on the environment?

Reducing CO2 emissions while ensuring security of energy supply is at the forefront of the EU integrated approach to fight climate change.

In 2007, Member States set the so-called “20-20-20” targets by 2020:

  1. a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions (GHG);
  2. a 20% increase of the share of RES in EU’s energy consumption;
  3. a 20% increase of energy efficiency.

In 2011, the European Commission published its Energy Roadmap 2050 exploring pathways toward a low carbon economy with a CO2 emission reduction of 85-90% compared to 1990 levels.

Switching to RES will inevitably lead to a situation in which, from time to time, generation will largely exceed demand or vice versa, with specific concerns on transmission and distribution networks. The growing penetration of RES, in particular non-dispatchable generation such as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), will increase therefore the need for flexibility in the energy system.

Energy storage is especially well suited to respond to this challenge and ensure a continued security of energy supply at any time.  

Energy storage is one of the enabling technologies to deploy renewable energy generation at large scale and reach a high percentage of renewable energy on our electricity mix.

Energy storage can enable the energy system to operate more efficiently (i.e. to reduce system losses), and it can substitute grid services that are at present provided by fossil fuelled generation devices.

Concerns related to the recycling of ES components (end of life recycling) will be taken into consideration along the work developed by EASE.

2. How environmental-friendly is storing energy?
The share of intermittent wind and solar energy in our electricity supplies has already become increasingly important and will be expanded significantly in the coming years. Renewable energy supply will then exceed demand at times and the electricity network will operate at the limits of its capacity combined with intelligent energy storage, renewable power will be able to cover more and more base-load demand. Consequently effective energy storage will be the key to a low-carbon world.

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