Energy storage systems are set to play a central role in the energy supply of the future: As the use of renewable energy sources becomes more widespread, it will be increasingly important to guarantee a reliable power supply and smart energy management. Storage systems allow electricity to be retrieved even at times when cloud formations or windless conditions prevent the generation of clean power. Furthermore, they can help to connect different generating units to create virtual power plants, and thus ensure a reliable energy supply across entire regions.
200 megawatts by 2017 in Germany
The potential for use of such energy storage systems in Germany is far from being exhausted, however: The German Energy Storage Association (BVES) put the total market for large-scale storage systems at some 35 megawatts in August 2016. By January 2017, the cumulative capacity had already reached around 120 megawatts, and the association expects approximately 200 megawatts to be available by December 2017. The BVES estimates that somewhere in the region of 600 projects have been completed in Germany in agricultural settings, apartment buildings, trade, commerce, and industry to date. Demand for large-scale storage facilities is rapidly increasing.
Industrial-scale energy storage systems
One important application of large-scale storage systems is in industry, where they are used for peak shaving. Surplus energy, produced for example at midday, can be captured by the storage devices and thenreleased on demand, for instance at times when large amounts of electricity are required. Power supplied by the electric grid is reduced dramatically as a result, and costs fall. Businesses are then able to benefit from so-called ‘atypical grid usage’. If they predominantly consume energy at times when the general grid load is light, they pay significantly lower tariffs. “Large-scale storage is essential to distributed, green, reliable energy supply systems. We are delighted to be presenting our innovations at ees Europe, and to have the opportunity for discussions with a wide range of trade visitors here,” states Daniel Hannemann, Managing Director of Tesvolt GmbH.
Intelligently connected: virtual power plants
We are moving from a centralized energy generation structure to one that is distributed and sustainable. Since energy sources such as the sun and wind are not available around the clock, flexible coordination of energy supply and demand is needed. Large-scale storage systems play a crucial role in creating smart networks, and in future will ensure that sufficient electricity is present in the grid at all times. This is because they not only store surplus energy and provide it on demand, they are also able to connect numerous different distributed power generation units to create so-called virtual power plants. “In future, large-scale storage systems will become an integral part of the power grids and as such will bolster the global energy transition towards power provision from renewable sources of energy. ees Europe is therefore the ideal platform for us to showcase our solutions to trade visitors and to seek dialogue with experts,” explains Roger Lin, Senior Director of Product Marketing, NEC Energy Solutions, Inc.
Lucrative business models
Other business models are also suited to the use of large-scale storage systems, one example being neighborhood-scale distributed energy storage: Here, operators of cogeneration plants and PV installations utilize the same energy store. Since investment is only required in one storage facility, purchase costs are far cheaper than the installation of several small domestic storage systems. When used to capture surplus power from the German grid, large-scale storage systems also allow plant operators to optimize their electricity marketing.
Information on these applications and many others can be found at the ees Europe Smart Renewable Energy Forum (hall B2, booth B2.131), and at the individual exhibitor booths in Munich. Large-scale storage systems are likewise a key topic at the parallel ees Europe Conference: Drawing on best practice case studies, the session “Real Life Projects: Commercial & Utility-Scale” provides insights into the technical and economic potential of PV battery systems. Attendees of the ees Europe Conference also have the opportunity to learn how the market for stationary and mobile storage systems is poised to develop, chiefly in Europe but also worldwide, in the session entitled “European and Global Market Developments for Stationary and Automotive Storage Systems”. (HCN)
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