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EASE Study on Energy Storage Demand

  • June 18, 2018

How will the Evolution of the Energy System Affect the Need for Energy Storage?

EASE – On 5 June 2018, the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) published a study estimating the energy storage capacity that would be needed in order for Europe to achieve its decarbonisation targets. 

The study is a simplified extrapolation of existing studies on energy storage demand for different EU Member States. Based on data and renewable energy targets from the EU Reference Scenario, EASE estimates the technical storage demand in 2050 as follows: 

 Total power storage demand ranging from 70 to 220 GW (compared to roughly 45 GW existing today); 

 Energy storage capacity ranging from 1500-5500 GWh (compared to roughly 300 GWh existing capacity in pumped hydro storage). 

These estimates are based on a scenario envisaging the combined share of wind and solar in power generation reaching 35% EU-wide by 2050. Taking into account a higher share of renewables would lead to a significantly higher storage demand estimate. 

The study indicates that the more alternative flexibility options are allowed (e.g. better grid interconnection, more demand-side management, a highly flexible thermal fleet), the smaller the derived energy storage demand will be for a targeted degree of variable renewable generation. Each study on storage demand relies on unique assumptions regarding the alternative flexibility options; this leads to significant differences between storage demand estimates proposed in various studies. 

Although it cannot provide a precise estimate for future storage demand, this study gives valuable insights into how the evolution of the energy system (particularly with regards to the deployment of different flexibility options) can affect the need for energy storage from a technical perspective. 

However, the study does not answer the crucial question of whether the needed energy storage capacity can economically be built in the existing market design environment. EASE will continue to advocate for an EU energy market design and other energy policies that allow energy storage to provide value across the energy system, removing barriers that are currently hampering the storage business case. 

More information is available at the following link: http://bit.ly/ESdemand 

Source: European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE).