Devoting an entire issue of FORESIGHT Climate & Energy Business to the subject of electricity storage in grid networks might seem like overkill, but the more evidence we unearthed about the role of storage, the more we saw an urgent need to set the record straight.
Electricity storage, it turns out, is no more essential for reliable supplies of electricity from a power system based on variable sources of renewable energy, like wind and solar, than for a system based on fossil fuels and nuclear power.
FORESIGHT examines the complex case for electricity storage in power systems in its latest issue. We trust you’ll enjoy this readable walk, undertaken with a cool head through a hot topic of our times.
We face a fundamental change of the cost structure on the supply side and a need for a fundamental change.
They [the European Commission] are looking at this stuff backwards. I still think they are convinced the short-term market model could work even though they are also starting to realise that you need something parallel, with long term price signals that give investors confidence to invest in infrastructure and allow them to see a decent market return.
Despite tremendous cost decline of wind and solar technologies, electricity prices will probably remain too low to attract the level of investment needed.
The greatest barrier to overcome is the integration of variable renewables into electricity systems. This will require developing power system flexibility and also a friendly deployment of variable renewables.
Elon Musk’s Australian banter about batteries; battery challenge from wind; low cost pumped hydro storage; IEA wants stronger signals for new grid flexibility; facts and figures indicate limited role for battery storage in the big picture
By relieving grid bottlenecks of surplus supply and providing bursts of power when needed, storage can add sufficient value to find routes to profitability, but they are limited