Energy storage is an essential enabler of the energy transition. In the past decades, Europe has shifted from an energy system dominated by centralised fossil fuel generation that can be dispatched to match energy consumption at all times, to a system with more and more renewables. Energy storage supports Europe in this transition.
Operating in a system with an increasing share of renewables
Energy storage technologies allow us to store excess energy and discharge it when there is too little generation or too much demand. They provide flexibility at different time-scales – seconds/minutes, hours, weeks and even months.
Storage can help consumers increase self-consumption of solar electricity, or to generate value by providing flexibility to the system.
Industrial consumers can install storage to reduce consumption peaks, and to provide back-up power if there is a black-out. In addition, storage at any level can offer system services, safeguarding the secure and efficient operation of the electricity system.
Storage can help defer costly investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure, extending the lifetime of existing assets and helping grids function more efficiently.
Energy storage deployment could facilitate the electrification heating, and cooling sectors and support the roll-out of very fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, particularly in areas with weak grids.
Enabling the transition
Given the immense value of storage in helping integrate ever increasing shares of renewables, it is no surprise that storage deployments are quickly increasing. Policymakers, industry, and other stakeholders from across Europe must continue working together to create a supportive regulatory framework that will allow the storage sector to thrive.