On April 21 the EU Parliament organized a Hearing on storage technologies, chaired by ITRE Committee chairman Jerzy Buzek.
Patrick Clerens, director of the European Association for the Storage of Energy, (EASE) referred to the “ease” of switching on storage solutions to balance the grid. The existing market design of the electricity sector however is based on centralized power plants. In Europe’s new energy future distributed energy will be more dominant and the question is who will own storage systems.
Thomas Hamacher, Chair for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems and Munich-School of Engineering (MSE) indicated the need to couple electricity and heat in addition to working on better interconnections in the European power grid, and on flexible demand. He pointed also to hydrogen as an option that however would come much later when very large amounts of renewable energy will enter local grids. Heat storage is an important mechanism to reduce complexity in the system when only pointing to electricity.
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, secretary general of Hydrogen Europe presented hydrogen as an economicallyu viabel high capacity sotrage solutions that would enable zero emission transport without a need to change driving habits of consumers.
Ben Hill referred to the increases in power density of batteries in the last decades and the need to facilitate grid access.
A recent study of Energy Brainpool for Greenpeace Energy indicated that from 2020 100 MW of so called “wind gas plants” should be installed per year until 2040. The installation speed would have to rise to 500 MW in 2025 to reach 14 GW in 2040. Energy Brainpool says that wind gas will be necessary in addition to batteries or pumped hydro from 2035 when 74 % of renewable power will be connetecd grids batteries or pumped hydro . By 2050, if the 1000 renewable target is met, 89 GW of electrolysers will be necessary.