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IRENA to develop electricity storage roadmap

The workshop will take place at this year’s Energy Storage Europe conference and exhibition, the third annual edition of the event, hosted in Dusseldorf, Germany, from 25 to 27 March. The IRENA workshop will take place on 27 March.

The event is aimed at defining how energy storage technologies can assist the increasing deployment of renewable energy generation. By bringing together 50 workshop participants, IRENA said it would seek to identify and evaluate various technologies and applications of energy storage and through that begin to establish a roadmap for fostering the growth of energy storage, with particular regard to electricity storage.

Energy storage is an expansive field with many possible applications and many possible technologies – attendees at the workshop will work together to highlight the appropriate applications for various energy storage technologies and find common ground on best practise and education, IRENA said.

According to IRENA literature, in some countries, energy storage - and electricity storage in particular – can mitigate the impact of adding variable electricity generation from renewables, while in other countries, the need to mitigate impact of renewables is less of a driver for deploying storage.

However, IRENA said: “In both cases, electricity storage technologies provide new opportunities for restructuring the power system. For emerging economies or isolated states, it will even allow leapfrogging to new grid systems that are more decentralised, more variable, and run without marginal costs.”

IRENA has previously issued its renewable energy roadmap, REmap 2030, which asserts that by the year 2030, the global share of power generated by renewable energy could be brought up to 44%. Without the roadmap, in a business-as-usual scenario, the 2030 percentage will be 26%, according to IRENA. At present the proportion of total power generation by renewable energy is closer to 20%.

In considering the possibility of using energy storage to help achieve this increase in renewable energy generation, the association is now looking to develop a separate roadmap for progress in energy storage at the event. IRENA claims that the 50 or so attendees at the workshop will include “policy makers, industry representatives, academics and other relevant stakeholders”.

Energy Storage Europe 2014 will be chaired by Professor Eicke R Weber, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. Weber also serves as president of the German energy storage association, BVES, as well as being speaker for the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance, which brings together experts in energy technologies and research, from 11 different Fraunhofer research institute to pool their knowledge and academic resources.

Following the European conference and exhibition there will also be regional energy storage events throughout the year in Beijing, San Jose, Tokyo and New Delhi.

The emergence of energy storage has gained momentum recently, with the Electrical Energy Storage exhibition scheduled to be held as part of Intersolar Europe in June.

Volume 12 of Solar Business Focus, available online now, includes the feature 'Put up or shut up time for storage', based on interviews and briefings with experts and industry participants.

This article has been amended to correct an error in reporting the IRENA REmap renewable energy roadmap's projected figures.

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