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IRENA launches energy storage technology roadmap

The International Renewable Energy Agency has published a technology roadmap aimed at accelerating the deployment of electrical storage for renewable energy.

‘Renewables and Electricity Storage’, believed to be the first roadmap of its kind for storage, identifies a number of priority actions where it believes industry and governments worldwide can work together in supporting the growth of electrical energy storage (EES).

The roadmap estimates that to meet international renewable energy targets, some 150GW of battery storage and 325GW of pumped hydro storage will be needed. IRENA’s ‘REmap 2030’ report believes a doubling of renewable generation in the electricity system to 45% if possible by 2030, but only with the support of enabling technologies such as storage.

“Now is the time to think about integrating large-scale battery storage into the global energy system,” said IRENA director general Adnan-Z Amin. “This roadmap is a starting point for all policy makers seeking to integrate greater storage capabilities, which is necessary to ensure the world is ready for the next phase of growth for renewable power systems.”

The document identifies 14 actions across five priority areas. These include electricity storage to support renewables in islands and remote areas, consumer-located storage for self-consumption in countries with high shares of rooftop PV, generator and grid-located storage for countries with grid infrastructure constraints and system analysis tools for countries preparing to transition their power sector towards renewables.

Among the specific actions where policy makers can support industry, the roadmap pinpoints a need to create local value chains in very remote parts of the world and new financing models. For generator-located storage it said innovative regulation would be needed to support new business models for the technology (see image, left).

Setting out the contents of the roadmap at the inaugural day of the Intersolar Europe conference in Munich today, IRENA’s technology roadmap analyst Ruud Kempener said in addition to guiding policy makers the roadmap was intended as a call to action for the industry.

“[EES] is new for everyone," Kempener said. “It’s not that one country or one industry can take this forward – we really have to collaborate. That’s why IRENA has launched this energy storage roadmap, to create the global framework for action; how can we collaborate together to make sure EES is used to its biggest advantage to accelerate the deployment of renewables.

“IRENA cannot be involved in each of these items. This is also a call for you to take action.”

The roadmap was based on the feedback from a number of workshops held by IRENA around the world involving around 200 participants.

“The value of this roadmap is that it brought together policy makers from across the globe with the leading industry experts and academics,” said chair of the Global Energy Storage Alliance, Janice Lin. “At every workshop, we were asked to prioritise and refine our assessments. The roadmap is truly a product of international cooperation."

Read an interview with IRENA's Ruud Kempener here

Launching the storage roadmap at Intersolar Europe, IRENA's Ruud Kempener sets out the documents main priorities.

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