Europe’s policymakers have been urged to consider “updating” power market frameworks to allow storage systems to compete in providing “secure supplies of affordable electricity at the lowest costs” to consumers.
According to a new report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) – ‘Valuing dedicated storage in electricity grids’ – dedicated electricity storage “has historically had a relatively minor role in the management of Europe’s electricity networks”.
However, the report said storage systems are set to grow in value thanks to their abilities “to contribute to the balancing of electricity supplies and demands, as well as to reserves, capacity and generation adequacy”.
“As well as having a potential role in the toolbox of electricity system network managers, electricity storage systems are increasingly being installed by electricity consumers and households, notably together with solar photovoltaic generators,” the report added.
“It will therefore become increasingly important for policymakers and network operators to understand the potential added values and risks associated with such developments as consumers become more active players in the energy markets of the future.”
According to the EASAC, deployment of dedicated electricity storage on the grid in the European Union as of 2016 was “dominated” by pumped hydroelectric storage (PHS). “But the deployment of lithium-ion batteries is growing fast and growth is also expected in the deployment of other energy storage technologies.”
“Storage is widely acknowledged today as an expensive option, but its costs are falling and its value is improving,” the report said. “Among the different storage technologies, it is clear that batteries have the highest cost reduction potential and their costs are falling fast, partly as a result of the economies of scale that accompany their growing use, especially in transport applications. In contrast, the costs of other storage technologies are coming down more slowly but, for future large-scale applications, PHS in particular may offer good value for money in suitable locations.”