Energy Storage: Maximising Renewables and Avoiding Imported Fossil Fuels

Energy Storage: Maximising Renewables and Avoiding Imported Fossil Fuels

Author: Patrick Clerens

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The current geopolitical crisis intensified the need for the European Union to put in place a framework that ensures its security of energy supply. The urgency to build such a framework should not endanger but, on the contrary, encourage the achievement of the ambitious climate targets proposed by the European Union for 2030.

Renewable penetration in Europe is growing rapidly, but without a complementary energy storage uptake, the EU risks staying dependent on imported fossil fuels.

Wind and solar generation rely on weather conditions to produce energy: there may be times when either excess energy is produced on windy or sunny days or not enough energy is produced on low wind or cloudy days. Today, gas plants are often used as peaking plants in the case the production from renewables is insufficient to meet the demand. Phasing out one greenhouse gas emitting asset (coal, lignite plants) to replace it with another one locked and will lock Europe into fossil fuels and third-parties imports, hindering EU security of supply as well as the success of reducing emissions.

The only solution that could guarantee the European Union’s carbon-neutral transition is the uptake of energy storage. Coupling renewables with energy storage will allow Europe to rely on its own local, green energy sources and eliminate reliance on external, fossil-based imports.

Indeed, thanks to energy storage, energy can be shifted: for instance, the excess energy produced on sunny days can be stored for even months and released back to the system as electricity when required.

Long-duration energy storage technologies are already on the market; it is the turn now for policymakers to provide more investment and support their wide-scale deployment using binding Energy Storage targets.