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IESW 2022: Global Energy Storage Outlook, Key Takeaways

From left to right: Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director - IESA; Stephen Fernands, President - CES; and Aditya Trivedi, Director – BD, AES (India)

At the global level, the battery energy storage is having its moment, by gaining immense traction in various international markets, which can fundamentally alter the electricity and renewable energy sectors in the years to come, agreed to the speakers at the India Energy Storage Week 2022 event. A conference session was devoted to the global outlook of the energy storage industry, calling upon a brief status update on the progress of the industry in global markets.

In the United States, energy storage has become a resounding success, said Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director – Energy Storage Research, Office of Electricity, DoE (USA). "We have done well in short-duration energy storage, by developing viable business models, evaluation and planning tools, and so on. ES has achieved a great feat in frequency regulation, smoothing renewable energy, demand charge reduction, and substation upgrade deferrals", he observed.

Going forward, he said that energy storage of various durations will be needed, including short, medium, and long duration. "We will need some 1,200-2,300 GWh of energy storage, although recent episodes of COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political instabilities have exposed crucial issues in supply chains", he added.

Further, Dr. Gyuk noted that the incumbent lithium-ion technology is muddled with issues regarding the lack of sustainable sourcing, both in terms of ecological and sociological considerations, along with concerns on safety, reliability, and recycling.

"Li-ion is best suited for short duration (15 mins to 4 hours) ES, while for medium-duration day/ night PV storage, Flow batteries are evolving. For LDS, Thermal or gravity ES are preferred", he said, while adding that a viable business case for LDES is critical for its progress.

Speaking on ES targets for 2030 and 2050 in European Union, Patrick Clerens, Secretary-General, EASE, said that 2030 target requirements should be around 150 GW with a 40 percent renewable share. "With more than 85 percent variable renewable projected for 2050, EASE estimates predict a storage requirement of around 600 GW at EU level", he predicted.

Patrick also identified certain megatrends of clean energy in ES. This includes the evolution of the tech-neutral definition of ES, shift to market-based tendering of flexible services by systems operators, and high renewable energy sourcing targets opening up possibilities for more services.

"In EU, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) has the potential to play a decisive role in accelerating energy storage developments, of which 3 out of 7 'flagship areas' for investments and reforms are of particular interest for ES", he noted. Announced as a post-pandemic strategy, the RRF is at the core of the European Commission's next-gen EU instrument and aims to foster sustainability amongst European economies and support the transition toward green and digital economies.

As key takeaways for India, Patrick said, "India can draw inspiration from EU on implementation of legislation establishing dynamic price contracts (Electricity Directives). There is a need to reward the benefits ES brings to the system, and targets are needed to secure long-term investments, as ambitious plans for renewables are being implemented".

He further added that concerns over the overall cost of ES shall be answered with early deployment of ES facilities and the development of new ES technologies in India. Aditya Trivedi, Director – BD, AES (India) shared a similar view, that any renewable solution in the country would be limited without battery energy storage technology. "That's why we need ES applications, and we have to keep the developments in this space technology agnostic to suit custom needs across multiple applications and options", he added.

To address the recent supply chain crisis in battery manufacturing, the speakers agreed that a twin-fold strategy of expanding mining across the globe by identifying new reserves, and increasing recycled content in battery manufacturing can make things easier for the ES industry in the future. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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