Unlocking the true potential of energy storage

A new paper from smartEn (Smart Energy Europe) outlines recommendations to realise the true potential of energy storage.

The European Union aims to lead the way towards the clean energy transition by adopting some of the most forward-looking climate and energy legislation in the world. This will lay the foundations for energy markets to transform into more competitive, flexible and effective structures where modern energy models can thrive.

Energy storage, including batteries in electric vehicles, is at the core of this transformation and will play a fundamental role in a future electricity system. It does so by mitigating the variability of renewable energy sources, and by enabling citizens to play a more active role and become engaged customers – thereby democratising energy markets.

Response, rapid, resilient, redistribution

The smartEn paper discusses the particular role of energy storage as a key technology to achieve the necessary flexibility for an efficient energy system. Storage can already provide a wide range of services with these characteristics:

  • Response: Storage is able to fully imitate demand response and can act as generation response.
  • Rapid: Storage is able to respond in milliseconds to provide or take energy from the grid.
  • Resilient: Storage is able to store and discharge energy only when needed.
  • Redistribution: Storage can shift energy from lower to higher demand times to moderate prices and stabilize systems states in our energy system.

Challenges still lie ahead for storage

Challenges need to be addressed before energy storage can realise its full potential as a part of the energy system. Double-charging of taxes and levies on storage are still present and distorting investment decisions. Discussions around regulated ownership and operation of storage assets could stunt the development of the storage industry for years to come. And finally, discussions are still ongoing on what services, and especially at what times, storage should be able to provide to the system

Summary of smartEn’s key recommendations

Move to a service-definition based market: Storage solutions, their technical capabilities and the services they can provide will evolve quickly. The current asset-class centric definition is restrictive by nature, thus hampering the development of new technologies.

Foster market-oriented adoption of storage: Storage has to be allowed for use in market-based scenarios solely, to make the full range of services and benefits available to society.

Prevent double taxation of storage: Storage must be charged in a fair and transparent way, double taxation has to be overcome, to unleash the cost-saving potential of this technology to the public.

Allow stacking of services: To provide a better business case storage must be allowed to offer multiple services from a single or multiple unit(s) to multiple markets.

Allow aggregation of storage: Storage has to be allowed to be aggregated and bring flexibility to all organised markets by a service provider, independent aggregators or suppliers.

Download and read the smartEn paper: Energy Storage in the EU: unlocking the next step in the energy transition via the electricity market design.

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