18.01.2021 / News
According to EASE newest member, Xtralis, "one of the most important ways to solve our energy issues is to store more energy. If that can be done in a safe and reliable way, society will benefit as a whole. [...] Keeping energy storage safe and secure will promote the energy transition and help achieve the transformations required by governments across the globe much more quickly".
25.01.2021 / News
Lessons Learned in 2020: Flexibility in Time of Crisis
Going into 2020, we decided to take energy storage to the next level with the support of our members. With a bigger Secretariat than ever before, we started 2020 eager to ramp up our activities and better serve the growing EASE membership. It was to be our most productive year yet, full meetings, and networking with policymakers and EASE members.
The Year of the European Green Deal… and of COVID-19
Our goals included ensuring that energy storage is prioritised across all European Green Deal policy proposals, driving the rapid implementation of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ Package preparing and advocating EASE positions on a host of topics and holding our Energy Storage Global Conference 2020.
None of us expected the COVID-19 pandemic to hit so hard, upending our personal and professional plans as lockdowns and travel restrictions were imposed. It quickly became clear that achieving our 2020 goals would be all about showing flexibility in times of crisis.
I’m proud to say that the EASE team learned new ways of working remotely, connecting with members and policymakers, and found new opportunities to drive the deployment of energy storage across the EU. Flexibility – a keyword in the energy storage sector – came to be a central tenet that infused our personal and professional lives as we sought to make the most of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts.
The value of flexibility in the energy sector became clearer than ever: system operators demonstrated their ability to rapidly adjust to changing energy consumption patterns amid lockdowns. Energy storage solutions proved their significant value and potential, supporting the energy system in times of record low demand and facilitating integration of record high levels of variable renewables.
A Milestone for Green Transition Funding
EASE was heartened to see EU policymakers stay true to their climate ambitions, despite the pandemic situation. A record €1.8 trillion seven-year budget and COVID-19 recovery plan was proposed, with at least 30% of this amount - €600 billion – earmarked for climate spending. This COVID-19 recovery spending opened new doors by allowing the European Commission to borrow money on the markets, thereby mutualising debts of individual Member States for the first time in the EU history.
In parallel, policymakers continued the preparation of dozens of European Green Deal proposals, from the Renovation Wave to the Just Transition Fund. System flexibility was a clear focus: we saw the publication of a major Commission-tendered study on energy storage and its contribution to security of supply, the European Parliament proposing a comprehensive approach to energy storage, and the Commission releasing an ambitious energy system integration strategy, coupled with a clean hydrogen strategy. Many Member States looked more closely at energy storage as the Clean Energy Package provisions were being implemented in their national frameworks.
A Significant Year in EASE's Growth
There were clear bright spots: the EASE Secretariat was happy to integrate 16 new members from all over Europe into the association. However, 2020 saw several EASE ‘founding fathers’ and other leading members stepping down and passing the torch to the next generation of EASE members. Our great thanks go to Ms Eva Chamizo Llatas (EASE President 2018-2020, Iberdrola), Mr Jillis Raadschelders (EASE Vice-President 2011-2020, DNV GL), Mr Michel Matheu (Strategy Committee Chair, 2016-2020), and Mr Jean-Michel Durand (EASE Technical Advisor 2011-2020) for their commitment and support of the EASE activities over the years.
Many of us are happy to see 2020 come to a close, but I hope we remember the important lessons that this year taught us: flexibility is key, both for the energy system and our lives. The mute button is the remote worker’s ally (and occasionally a nuisance). And finally, being grateful for the things we have goes a long way.
Working to drive forward the EU policy agenda to support energy storage deployment has truly been a pleasure that helped keep our minds focused on better days ahead. With flexibility, cheerfulness, and mutual support we achieved a lot this year – let’s take this energy forward into 2021!
- EASE Secretary General, Patrick Clerens