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European Energy Storage Coalition launches, welcomed by EC energy commissioner Simson

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The launch of a new Energy Storage Coalition has been welcomed by European Commission energy commissioner Kadri Simson.

Solar Power Europe, WindEurope and energy storage association EASE have formed the new organisation to promote energy storage and advocate for better policy, regulation and market design. An official launch took place last week in Brussels, Belgium, with Kadri Simson giving the opening address.

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Simson’s speech came just a couple of weeks after the commissioner described energy storage as a “centrepiece” of the energy transition, but one that had been overlooked, as the EC debated the role of the technologies with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

Once again, Simson played up the relevance of storage to the energy sector, and “key to building a future-proof, resilient and decarbonised energy system,” as the coalition and its partners gathered for the first time on 4 May.

“For many years, energy storage has been in the background of the power sector. But the fact is that energy storage and flexibility services are a self-standing sector that will transform our energy system,” Simson said, adding that the launch of the Energy Storage Coalition “sends an important signal,” and furthers the EC’s goal since 2016 to “unleash” the capabilities of storage – and other flexibility technologies such as demand response.

The triumvirate of leading European clean energy trade associations are joined by Bill Gates-founded cleantech accelerator Breakthrough Energy in the new Energy Storage Coalition.

Other discussions at the event focused on how the EC’s Electricity Market Design reform process – no doubt a subject regular readers of Energy-Storage.news will be familiar with by now – can address barriers to the deployment of storage technologies in Europe.

Kadri Simson has previously said storage and flexibility options need to be at the core of the market design framework, with proposed reforms including national objectives for European Union (EU) Member States to provide flexibility from non-fossil fuel sources, and allow transmission and distribution (T&D) operators to procure flexibility services during times of peak demand for power on the grid.

“Energy storage means more than adapting the energy system to changing needs and boosting the electrification of important sectors,” Simson said last week.

“On top of that, it reduces price fluctuations and lowers electricity prices during peak times; empowers consumers to adapt their energy consumption to prices and their needs; and allows for a real system change by replacing outdated flexibility technologies such as gas-fired installations with clean flexibility solutions.”

Other speakers at the launch included heads and representatives of Breakthrough Energy and the three trade associations, MEPs Emma Wiesener and Niels Fugelsang as well as industry representatives and the European Commission’s director for Green Transition and Energy System Integration, Catharina Sikow-Magny.

While recent reports have found significant growth in Europe’s energy storage market, it’s still considered a long way off the trajectory required to meet the continent’s energy security and decarbonisation goals.

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