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More clean power is being added to energy mixes on a daily basis, but it does not matter how many wind turbines or solar panels are installed; the electrons still need to reach homes and businesses. Supply cannot always match demand, either in quantity or timing, so that is where storage comes in. Whether it is hydropower dams, grid batteries, molten salt or the power of gravity, storage — both conventional and innovative — is gearing up to play an absolutely fundamental role in decarbonised energy systems.
The road ahead is by no means a smooth one, though, as many hurdles stand in the way of 24/7 on-demand green electricity. Developers need to establish strong business cases to support their storage ambitions, and some policies are already helping to make that a reality. More changes are needed to unlock a storage boom and also establish the technology as a safeguard against the price spike crisis that happened towards the end of 2022. Helping to turbocharge this week’s Dispatch is Thomas Lewis from the European Association for the Storage of Energy.
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Analysts predict massive growth for storage systems that can provide many hours of uninterrupted power, but the sheer diversity of contenders in this field makes it hard for a dominant technology to emerge
Episode two of Energy Enablers with Johan Söderbom of EIT InnoEnergy discusses the options for long-term storage being developed and why battery recycling is on the rise
A fully renewable energy future is within reach and storage is definitely required, but it is a combination of measures that will truly make it possible, argues Johan Söderbom of EIT InnoEnergy
Corporate attempts to match every hour of consumption with renewable production could pave the way for grid decarbonisation
The rise in demand from electric vehicles (EVs) will put untold pressure on the already constrained grids. Supporting and expanding smart charging infrastructure will not only stabilise the grid but also provide fair prices to customers at times when energy bills are high, says Torben Fog of Spirii
Carbon prices at sufficiently high levels can push firms to internalise the costs of greenhouse gas emissions while providing a long-term price signal to drive investments needed for decarbonisation. Emission trading systems and carbon taxes feature in a growing number of climate strategies, but even the most well-designed instruments must be accompanied by other policy measures if emissions reductions goals are to be reached
Once carbon has been captured, the next piece of the puzzle is storing it. One option being explored in Iceland is to mineralise the carbon so it forms as solid rock below the ground—providing a more permanent storage solution. With the growth of carbon markets around the world, the finances behind this plan are also looking solid
By the end of this decade, Denmark aims to be a net exporter of green energy and fuels, helping Europe meet its net zero ambitions while curbing the reliance on energy imports. It rests on a massive expansion in both renewable energy generation and electrolysers as well as hydrogen infrastructure
Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) acting as drop-in substitutes for the fossil fuel kerosene are expected to play a leading role in decarbonising aviation. They are currently produced with materials like used cooking oil and animal fat waste, but new low-carbon feedstocks are needed to scale up output and ensure future flights are truly sustainable
Rocketing bills and worries over energy security sound like the perfect excuse to pump investments into large-scale infrastructure schemes—but in Europe at least, appetite for big projects is limited
Europe will need considerable amounts of energy storage to add resilience to the grid as renewable penetration increases and to support a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road. But recent commodity price rises are affecting costs for lithium-ion battery systems, creating opportunities for a raft of novel storage options
As the amount of traditional inertia on our grid systems decreases with the shift to inverter-based resources like wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), system operators are increasingly seeking carbon-free alternatives for stabilising frequency
The share of hydroelectric power in electricity generation is set to decrease as solar and wind come to dominate. Yet, hydropower has a crucial role to play in providing flexibility and storage for grids increasingly running on variable renewable energy resources
Researchers in Germany are looking at further developing molten salt technology as a means to store heat and produce electricity
Carbon capture and storage may be needed to decarbonise highly polluting sectors such as steel production, but the power sector would be best advised to focus on renewables and efficiency given the significant costs of the technology
As the wind blows, the sun shines, and green generation rises, demand is saturated. Market prices fall, but renewables are caught cannibilasing their own investment case. Special report part 1/3