Four sustainable energy associations have called on the European Union (EU) to support the development of energy storage technologies alongside renewables and hydrogen, in order to meet its goals to ensure energy security, reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels, and achieve a net-zero power system.
To achieve this, the EU needs to provide strong political support for energy storage in the short term, creating market signals that would mobilize investments, according to a letter sent to the European Commission and the European Parliament by Breakthrough Energy, the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), SolarPower Europe, and WindEurope.
The EU needs a massive and rapid roll-out of different energy storage technologies
A net-zero energy electricity system, with a high share of intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar, will require a range of flexibility solutions to balance the system, including storage at different duration levels. In this context, the EU needs a massive and rapid roll-out of different energy storage solutions – mechanical, thermal, electrochemical, electrical, and chemical storage, which are at various levels of technological maturity, according to the letter.
Specifically, the European Commission should take three steps in its REPowerEU action plan in May – set energy storage targets for 2030, promote the market uptake of energy storage technologies, and mainstream energy storage in the implementation of the action plan and in the ongoing review of the Electricity Market Design, according to the letter.
This should include extending contracts for difference under the Innovation Fund to cover energy storage, the four organizations said.
Energy storage should also be supported through countries’ national energy and climate plans (NECPs), while the EU urgently needs an energy storage strategy similar in scope and ambition as the existing hydrogen strategy, according to the letter.
Energy storage should also be backed through countries’ NECPs and an EU-wide strategy
In the review of the electricity market design, it is key to identify and lift barriers to storage uptake, such as the lack of implementation of EU legislation in member states and permitting bottlenecks, the organizations said.
The EU risks lagging behind the US and China in energy storage
The letter also warns the EU could find itself lagging behind on the global scale, as the US has been witnessing a surge in energy storage, with China developing ambitious plans to deploy storage solutions.