There is now widespread agreement that energy storage is a key instrument to support the decarbonisation of our energy system and merits increased R&I funding. R&I can support improvements in performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of storage technologies. Research in several areas can be particularly effective in terms of bolstering the energy storage sector and driving Europe’s competitiveness.
One promising area of research is hybrid storage systems, in which different technologies are combined to enable high-power and high-energy storage systems. But also studies on system integration should be pursued to analyse how gas, electricity, heat, cooling, and other technologies can be combined and complemented with different storage technologies. R&I projects also need to focus on the demonstration and monetisation of the different storage services, in order to identify how energy storage can provide different applications in the most cost-effective way. Finally, funding of research initiatives is important to make sure that all innovative storage solutions have a fair chance to enter the market.
Throughout 2019, EASE advocated for more EU funding and investment to be directed towards energy storage research, demonstration, and deployment. Many of our efforts focused on ensuring that Horizon Europe supports energy storage R&I. EASE also provided inputs to the European Investment Bank’s energy lending policy and to the design of the ETS Innovation Fund. EASE members were active in the ETIP SNET and in Batteries Europe, advising the European Commission on the funding needs for energy storage research across all technology readiness levels (TRLs). This support is paramount if we want to achieve the decarbonisation of our system by 2050.
Support for R&I paved the way for great achievements in the energy storage sector in the last few years. But we should not rest on our laurels: Europe has the opportunity to become the world leader in clean energy technologies, but only if it dedicates appropriate funding for research, development, and demonstration efforts.Support for energy storage research, development, and deployment should be a centrepiece of all European policies: Horizon Europe, ETS Innovation Fund, Connecting Europe Facility, Just Transition Fund, and more. If adequate support to R&I is not provided, we risk failing to achieve the ambitious 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation targets.