01.02.2021 / News
2020 was a significant year for energy storage policy, as the European Commission, European Parliament, and many other stakeholders took an active interest for the sector. This was especially clear when it came to the European Green Deal, the ambitious plan from the new EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to accelerate the transition to a net-zero emissions energy system by 2050.
11.02.2021 / News
How EU Funding is Driving Energy Storage Innovation
Investment in research is key in driving innovation in storage sector. EASE, as the voice of the energy storage industry, is an active contributor of the design of upcoming funding programmes for energy storage research and development and collaborated to the development of important instruments such as the Innovation Fund and Horizon Europe.
The Innovation Fund
Launched in July 2020, the Innovation Fund creates financial incentives for projects to invest in the next generation of technologies needed for the low-carbon transition, boost growth and competitiveness for EU companies, and support innovative low-carbon technologies in all Member States.
Up to €10 billion from the EU Emission Trading System will be invested under the Innovation Fund programme up to 2030. This funding will go to innovative technologies and big flagship projects with European added value that can bring on significant emission reductions.
The Just Transition Fund
The Just Transition Fund will play an important role in fostering research and development in the storage sector. It will dedicate €40 billion to support the energy transition in fossil fuel-dependent regions, including islands and isolated systems. It foresees productive investments in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, up- and reskilling of workers, as well as the transformation of existing carbon-intensive installations. The Fund recognises energy storage as a solution for the economic transition from an energy production dominated by fossil fuels to a model with high shares of renewables.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility
Another promising source of funding for energy storage is the Recovery and Resilience Facility that will be launched under the ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery programme. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will unlock €672.5 billion in grants and loans to support Member States’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 37% of this funding – nearly €250 billion - should be earmarked for climate spending, giving a significant amount of funding available in the coming years for energy storage projects around the EU.
Finally, 2020 also featured discussions and agreement on the follow-up to Horizon 2020, EU’s flagship R&D programme. Horizon Europe will kick off in January 2021 with a budget of €95.5 billion for 2021-2027. Dedicated calls will be launched to support research in all different types of energy storage technologies.
EASE priorities for research investments
EASE sees several priorities for EU funding in energy storage research, development, and deployment:
Comprehensive modelling studies assessing flexibility needs and energy storage deployment according to various scenarios to achieve the 2030 and 2050 targets, covering all different types of energy storage and taking into account intra-hour flexibility needs.
Systematically demonstration of how energy storage can provide energy services and monetise the added value to the energy system. Demonstrating the effective use of energy storage devices from a technical and economic point of view for short-, medium-, and long-duration services would greatly facilitate their deployment.
Materials and equipment research to allow improving and understanding performance of crucial components and parts in energy storage facilities, to help reduce the costs of storage systems.
Studies focused on system integration, focusing on how gas, electricity, heat, and other infrastructures (e.g. refuelling infrastructure) can be combined and complemented with storage of gas, electricity, heat, and/or fuels.
Research on energy storage in relation to the expected expansion of Electric Vehicles, including vehicle-to-grid services and the use of second-hand EV batteries for stationary applications. Assessing the relative merits of services from stationary vs mobile (aggregated EV) storage facilities, and identifying opportunities for mutual learning could have an added value.
Research into new designs for energy storage and hybrid technologies coupled with analysis on the requirements for optimal integration.
Large-scale demonstration projects for innovative storage technologies and in particular in the context of the just energy transition.