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Energy Storage Summit: ‘Role of storage for energy security increasingly recognised’

energy storage summit eu
Speakers at the opening panel discussion. Image: Cameron Murray / Solar Media.

The role of energy storage in helping Europe’s energy security is increasingly being recognised, said keynote speakers at The Energy Storage Summit EU today, hosted by our publisher Solar Media.

Gerard Reid, partner at Alexa Capital and co-host of the “Redefining Energy” podcast, opened the two-day event in London with a broad overview of where the energy storage market is at today and a reminder of how crucial it is. He was followed by keynote speakers from Wärtsilä, ENGIE, EDF, Sungrow Europe and Eirgrid discussing the question of storage and energy security.

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Reid said the technology is “crucial to humankind” and that humans have been storing energy in non-electrical form for hundreds and even thousands of years. When thinking about what electrical energy storage might look like in the future he pointed to the level of innovation seen in the mobile phone sector, with battery size and management helping drive miniaturisation and performance.

There was widespread agreement amongst panellists in the following ‘A Spotlight on Europe’s Energy Resilience’ discussion that, compared to a few years ago, the role of energy storage in helping the continent’s energy security is now increasingly recognised.

“It’s recognised and the 1,000-strong attendance [at the event] here is one sign of it,” said Gabriele Buccini, GM Business Development Energy Storage at Wärtsilä.

Tema Benhalima-Bouville, Director of global incubation for ENGIE, added: “The market wants flexible, low-cost solutions that allow independence and energy storage is a big part of the answer to that.”

“The UK grid operator has created routes to market for batteries that allows to stack them and there is more to come,” said EDF’s director of optimisation, Neville Towers.

Giving a grid operator’s perspective, Eirgrid’s Head of Future Markets Eoin Kennedy stated: “There is an increasing recognition of the many roles that storage can play as part of a balanced technology portfolio. In Ireland the focus has so far been on providing stability with long-duration energy storage (LDES).”

Responding to a separate question but touching on Kennedy’s latter point, Towers said: “Countries are going to realise that they need to provide those incentives to invest in storage, like the Inflation Reduction Act did.”

“We need policies that recognise the benefits of batteries on the system, that provide the same market access as conventional generation and provide long-term certainty of business case. We’ll need to see some out-of-the-box thinking with LDES – I don’t know how it will happen without that support.”

See the event website here with information about next year’s event.

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