10 ways to kick-start energy storage

Energy storage is a key enabler of the energy transition. But how to start promoting it? The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) has come up with 10 ways.

Energy storage technologies allow us to store excess energy and discharge it when there is too little generation or too much demand. They provide flexibility at different time-scales – seconds/minutes, hours, weeks and even months.

Storage can help consumers increase self-consumption of solar electricity, or to generate value by providing flexibility to the system.

Industrial consumers can install storage to reduce consumption peaks, and to provide back-up power if there is a black-out. In addition, storage at any level can offer system services, safeguarding the secure and efficient operation of the electricity system.

Storage can help defer costly investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure, extending the lifetime of existing assets and helping grids function more efficiently.

Energy storage deployment could facilitate the electrification heating, and cooling sectors and support the roll-out of very fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, particularly in areas with weak grids.

The EASE action list

Available in all major European languages, this EASE action list reflects the expectations of energy storage stakeholders on the progress that still needs to be made if we want to reach the levels of storage deployment that will be needed to achieve the 2030 and 2050 renewables and decarbonisation targets.

This action list is directed at everyone, specialists and non-specialists alike, with the goal of increasing awareness and knowledge about the importance of energy storage and stating what needs to be further improved in terms of policy.

1. Develop technology neutral policies

Technology neutral policy – aimed at creating a level playing field for all storage technologies – is essential to take full advantage of all the capabilities that energy storage solutions can bring and to allow business cases to develop across Europe.

2. Recognise all storage technologies in the EU’s 2050 long-term strategy

The contribution of all storage technologies to system stability, flexibility and sectorial integration should be explicitly recognised in the EU’s 2050 Long-Term Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions. This includes energy storage deployed behind-the-meter.

3. Build-up on the provisions of the Clean Energy Package

Implementation of the Clean Energy for all Europeans package files should lead to a stable, long-term policy framework that incentivizes the deployment of flexibility and creates a more harmonised market for energy storage across the EU.

4. Fair grid fees and charges for energy storage across Europe

A dedicated debate should be held about the grid fees and charges applied to energy storage, taking into account the positive effects of storage on the grid.

5. Increase funding for research, demonstration and deployment

More public funding should be dedicated to research, demonstration and deployment to ensure that cost-effective and efficient energy storage technologies are available to provide flexibility at different timescales and at all levels of the system.  

6. Reward the benefits that storage brings to the energy system

Storage is an enabler of the energy transition. It helps integrate increasing shares of RES and provides flexibility to the system. All benefits that storage bring should be recognised and remunerated through markets or competitive mechanisms, to maintain technology neutrality.

7. Move towards market-based procurement of flexibility services

TSOs and DSOs should procure flexibility services on the market, wherever possible, with technology neutral and appropriate tendering and pre-qualification criteria, allowing for flexibility providers to compete on a level playing field.

8. Enable storage facilities to stack different revenue streams

Energy storage facilities at all levels of the energy system – residential, commercial/industrial, front-of-meter – should be allowed to stack different revenue streams and compete on a level playing field with other flexibility providers.

9. Endorse the role of energy storage in the transport sector

Policies to support the transition to decarbonised mobility should take into account the value of storage in linking the energy and transport sectors, e.g. by supporting the roll-out of (fast) charging infrastructure and the development of incentives to enable the implementation of vehicle-to-grid services.

10. Support long-duration storage technologies

The framework for long-duration storage technologies to integrate ever higher shares of variable renewables should be designed by EU policymakers. Regulation should strive for market based efficient solutions.

For more on energy storage, consult the EASE website.

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