Battery Energy Storage
Eventually the world should be running on renewable energy alone, and the need for fossil fuels will be eliminated, to enable a cleaner, greener environment. The development of advanced battery storage systems is fundamental to this evolution.
Battery Energy Storage – Europe 2022
The EU has announced its intention that 50% of Europe will be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2030, and they also hope that carbon emissions will be massively reduced by 2050. To accomplish this goal, heavy investments in renewable energy sources are needed, including solar, wind, and geothermal energy. To make this financing more feasible, renewables would have to be stored properly for later use to provide power supply during excess energy demands.
What is Energy Storage?
Electricity is often created on a use-by-use basis, however energy is also stored on national energy grids in large scale amounts, for emergencies and to keep up with supply and demand. As the world is aiming to eliminate fossil fuels and implement the use of renewable energy sources (such as wind, solar, hydro, etc.)
With more kinds of renewable energy becoming popular and necessary, there is a need for more energy storage solutions. Eventually, the world should be running on renewable energy alone, and the need for fossil fuels will be eliminated, to enable a cleaner, greener environment.
The way energy storage works is by converting electricity into a form in a power network in which it is stored, and then converted back to electricity when it is demanded
Essentially, this energy is stored in gigantic power banks, to be used when needed. This is similar to how power packs for mobile phones work, just on a much, much larger scale.
Why is Energy Storage Important?
To increase the reach of renewable energy, experts think that energy storage needs to become far more widespread than it is currently, which will speed up the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources globally. As a lot of renewable energy sources are dependent on weather, it makes sense that this energy is stored in units that allow the energy to be accessed when there are unforeseen variations in weather pattern.
Also, as time passes, battery storage options are becoming a lot more efficient meaning that they are capable of storing and providing power over longer periods of time, resulting in a reliable option when renewable energy sources are disrupted.
Battery Storage in Europe
The Renewable Energy Directive was a target set by the EU in 2009, which proposed that the European Union would achieve at least 20% of its energy requirements through environmentally-friendly, renewable sources by the year 2020. The directive also states that all member countries of the EU guarantee that 10% or more of their transport fuels will be from renewable sources.
The directive summarises the connection between climate change and energy storage, outlining their plan to ensure a sustainable and reliable energy supply for all of the EU and other European countries.
It focuses on subjects such as the efficiency of the renewable energies employed and the gradual removal of carbon-based energy sources (otherwise known as decarbonisation). It also places emphasis on energy storage, making manufacturing and battery storage a priority of the directive.
Because of the massive need for energy storage in Europe, the market for lithium-ion batteries is expected to surge rapidly – which means that production of these batteries is also going to increase massively to keep up with demand. As well as this, there are also a number of initiatives and projects being put forward by businesses in Europe.
Puertollano Green Hydrogen Plant
Iberdrola, the number one producer of wind power globally, has begun constructing the largest green hydrogen producing plant in Europe, intended for industrial usage. The Puertollano plant (which is in Ciudad Real) will be made up of a 100 MW photovoltaic solar plant, and a lithium-ion battery system with a storage capacity of 20 MWh. This is all from totally renewable energy sources.
The new plant, which will become operational in 2022, is being developed in the municipality of Puertollano, a prime location with an important industrial hub. It is also the location of the National Hydrogen Centre, which has advised on the project since its inception. In addition, this project will also be a leader in battery storage technology with their lithium-ion energy storage system.
Fluence and ESB Battery Storage Project in Ireland
Irish state-owned energy company ESB and energy storage company Fluence have revealed two new battery projects in Dublin. The 75MW/150MWh battery in Poolbeg, Dublin Bay is said to be the EU’s largest energy storage system project by capacity, according to the companies. Their second battery project is a 30MW/60MWh energy storage solution, also to be developed at South Wall. Both batteries will be created at existing ESB plants.
Drax Power Station – North Yorkshire
Drax Group is a renewable energy company active in the generation of renewable energy, sustainable biomass, and the trading of renewable electricity to companies. Their aim is to help enable decarbonisation and low renewable energy costs for future generations.
In 2017, they made plans to open the Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire. Slated to be the UK’s largest power station, it will provide enough electricity for 6% of the UK. It will be fully operational in 2023, and Drax has the objective of providing relief for the energy grid in terms of sustainability and reliability.
Nyrstar-Balen Zinc Smelting Facility (BESS) – Belgium
This smelting facility is funded by Trafigura Group - “one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies”. The project itself is being put together by Nala Renewables, which is a newly-formed joint venture company with IFM Investors, a global institutional investment manager.
In a statement written by Nyrstar (global multi-metal business) in January 2021, they stated “An investment of up to EUR30 million will be made to develop one of Belgium’s largest Battery Energy Storage Systems ("BESS") at Nyrstar’s zinc smelting facility in Balen.”
The reason why energy storage systems are so necessary in Belgium is due to the low possibility of renewable energy options in the country, and so the use of fossil fuels and natural gas is prevalent. This storage system, which has the capacity of 100MWh, will be a lithium-ion battery that will hopefully lead Belgium’s energy grid to a more sustainable future.
The Future of Battery Storage
The potential for renewable energy proliferation and high amounts of energy storage in Battery Energy Storage Systems in Europe is immense. Countries such as Spain, Germany and The UK especially, are leaders in providing energy storage solutions.
The market is expected to grow ar a CAGR of around 4.3% over the next three years, so the future is bright, so long as countries in Europe, and also globally, act and make use of these energy storage systems and renewable energy sources. A focus on decarbonisation is imperative, and these energy storage projects could be a massive step in the right direction for Europe.