special report


Batteries for grid support not bulk supply

Batteries score in their ability to rapidly inject bursts of electricity into the grid, but demand for the service is not greater in countries furthest ahead in transitioning to renewable energy

The not so essential role of electricity storage

Special report - Electricity Storage part 1/5: Belief about the need for electricity storage is no substitute for hard evidence. Countries furthest ahead with transitioning to renewable energy are doing so without incurring the cost of storage. As a foundation for decision making, belief is a dangerous quicksand. Investors beware.

What storage is for and what it cannot do

Special report - Electricity Storage part 2/5: Filling in for wind and solar over days of calm and cloudy weather is not a task storage can perform, even if it was a power system requirement

Storage has to multi-task to earn its keep

Special report - Electricity Storage part 3/5: 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

No sign of a silver storage bullet

Special report - Electricity Storage part 4/5: No means of affordably storing large volumes of electricity in all geographies exists, but a robust grid, connected over a wide area, can deliver green energy reliability

Grid scale storage not essential but nice to have

Special report - Electricity Storage part 5/5: The uptake of renewable energy does not increase the need for storage capacity, but stored power can help grid operators flexibly operate power systems, provided it can pay its way

Key takeaways at a glance

Essential knowledge and key indicators of the prospects for grid scale electricity storage technologies

The grid is a giant battery

Grid operators need incentives to use the grid as a large scale battery

No compromise on security of supply

In green and flexible power systems, services like rapid cures for hiccups in grid frequency can be valuable
Battery bank experiments in Australia and California are the biggest in the world14/November/2017

Giant scale battery showcases

The biggest battery bank experiments are in California and Australia

Cobalt catch for li-ion

Limitations on the supply of cobalt will restrict the production ramp-up of batteries based on today’s lithium-ion chemistry

The race to build better batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are sufficiently mature to have developed a competitive edge for some uses, but flow batteries hold greater potential for meeting expectations for grid scale storage
In Copenhagen EnergyLab Nordhavn are experimenting with batteries14/November/2017

An urban energy battery trial

A dockland regeneration in Copenhagen is doubling up as a full scale energy laboratory, complete with an integrated battery bank

In search of a cure for cannibalisation

Special report part 1/3: 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

Electrification of heat and transport

Special report part 2/3: The bigger the pool of energy demand, the less the ripples in supply from renewable energy are felt

Electricity markets need fixing

Special report part 3/3: IEA boss Fatih Birol discusses the need and the tools for bettering the business case for renewable energy
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