The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) is glad to extend a warm welcome to its newest member E2S Power – who joined EASE in February 2020. Mr Savic, CEO at E2S Power, accepted to discuss with us E2S Power’s expertise in energy storage and expectations from this collaboration with EASE.
Mr Savic, thank you very much for accepting this interview. We are very happy to have E2S Power among our members and we would like to know more about your activities in the sector. Could you summarise the most interesting insights from E2S Power’s work for energy storage in Europe?
Mr Savic: Thank you for the opportunity to present our company here. E2S Power was founded with the clear objective of developing and commercialising a radically new solution for large-scale storage of electrical energy. The primary application we’re targeting is the conversion of legacy thermal power plants into grid-scale fossil fuel free and CO2 neutral storage systems. Over the coming years, a large number of such plants will be retired globally. Some reach their expected end of life, others lack profitability due to competitive pressure from renewables, and yet others are decommissioned as a part of the effort to minimise the CO2 emissions. Therefore, owners of thermal plants are looking into 2nd-life options for at least part of their assets, many of which do still possess significant residual value and constitute an important industrial and power generation infrastructure in their regions. Our solution will employ a modular design in order to keep cost to a minimum and simplify adaptation to a variety of power plant sizes and layouts. It is differentiated from other thermal storage concepts through the exclusive use of a novel thermal storage material, the so-called Miscibility Gap Alloys, and having the design that utilises all of the electro-mechanical and HV infrastructure without any modifications, just simply removing the coal infrastructure from the power plants.
We look forward to a very fruitful collaboration with you and to receiving E2S Power’s inputs for our Working Groups and Task Forces. What created the interest from your company to join EASE?
Mr Savic: Some of the challenges associated with the storage of electrical energy can be dealt with on a regional and national level, but we strongly feel that a European vision and concerted actions of all players involved will ultimately be required to make storage the success story it needs to be for a smooth transition to a renewable energy future. After our initial discussions with the EASE team, we realised that the association and its members have views and ambitions very similar to our own, which almost made it a natural for us to join. What we particularly like about EASE is the diversity in its member base and the many European geographies it covers. A group like this can not only be very influential as a partner for European companies and policymakers; it’s also a great platform for mutual exchange and learning. We’re very much looking forward to working with EASE and its member organisations.
What is your vision for how storage can contribute to the energy transition?
Mr Savic: The need for cost-effective energy storage is getting more and more pressing with the expansion of renewable energy generation. And we will need a portfolio of solutions to address the risk of a growing mismatch between energy supply and demand in the future. Some solutions will cover local short-term needs, such as the combination of rooftop solar PV with battery systems in residential applications. Other solutions will tackle the challenge of balancing seasonal variations in energy demand and supply and may resort to a chemical energy carrier like Hydrogen. And for the intermediate space, grid-scale storage systems of up to a few GWh will be needed. With a set of complementary storage technologies, we’ll be able to maximise the utility of the installed renewable power generation assets while minimising the investments required to provide the indispensable storage capacity.