On 8 June 2020, EASE launched a second survey to assess the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy storage sector.
In June 2020, respondents were far more optimistic about EU and national government support for climate related policies compared to the previous survey (April 2020): 55% expect climate-related policies to gain momentum as a result of the pandemic (compared to only 31% in April). Only 13% see other policies being prioritised while climate policies are put on hold. This indicates that EU and Member States’ policymakers have succeeded in communicating their vision for a green recovery.
However, while the high-level messaging on recovery efforts is promising, this must be backed up by concrete actions and continued commitment by EU and national leaders to implement a truly green recovery as quickly as possible.
For the energy storage sector, several key policy actions are essential:
- Maintain the focus on ongoing EU energy policy initiatives, despite the COVID-19 crisis drawing attention away from the climate change challenge. For instance, ensuring rapid implementation of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package is a priority in order to remove regulatory barriers and support energy storage deployment across the EU. Furthermore, policymakers should continue to prioritise policy files including revision of the TEN-E Regulation, Hydrogen Strategy, Batteries Directive, and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive. This will allow Member States to build up the flexibility and resilience of their energy systems to cope with future crises and accelerate energy transition efforts across the board.
- Commit more funding to energy storage R&D, pilot, and demonstration projects to compensate for the anticipated shortfall in private investment and reduction in purchasing power among some customers (commercial & industrial players but also residential consumers). This will also help maintain competitiveness and employment in the clean energy technologies sector.
- Increase the EU’s commitment to decarbonisation by raising the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions target to 55% compared to 1990 levels. This will send a clear signal to investors.
- Prioritise energy storage in the European Green Deal policies, including the Just Transition Fund, Renovation Wave, and Smart Sector Integration Strategy. Energy storage solutions have a vital role to play in all of these areas and should be explicitly prioritised as key enabling technologies for a cost-effective, just, and consumer-driven energy transition.
EASE applauds EU leaders’ commitments to ensuring a green economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the measures above will help accelerate the economic recovery, support job creation, and cement the EU’s industrial and climate leadership, including in the energy storage sector.
In the coming months and years, EASE will continue to engage with its members and the broader industry to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on energy storage sector, gather lessons learned, and support the EU’s recovery efforts.