Five conferences at the industry’s largest gathering

With with five international energy-related conferences plus an exhibition, Energy Storage Europe 2015 looks like being an unmissable event. Photo credit: Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

With five international energy-related conferences plus an exhibition, Energy Storage Europe 2015 looks like being an unmissable event. Photo credit: Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

It is being billed as the biggest gathering in the industry. And with five international energy-related conferences plus an exhibition all under the one roof, the organisers of the Energy Storage Europe 2015 event can hardly be accused of boasting. The event, which will take place March 9 to 11, 2015, in Düsseldorf, Germany, will combine Energy Storage Europe with the 9th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES 2015).

But in addition, attendees will be able to dip in to three other key energy events, starting with the 2nd Financial Dialogue Europe run by VDE, the German Institute of the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies.

On its third day, meanwhile, the venue will host the 4th Ostbayerisches Technologie-Transfer-Institut (OTTI) Power-to-Gas Conference and the German Solar Alliance’s 6th Storage Day.

Together, these annual conferences will cover the widest topical range in the international energy storage market, organisers say.

The Messe Düsseldorf trade fair is organising the event along with VDE, OTTI, the European Association for Renewable Energy (Eurosolar), the World Council for Renewable Energy and the Solar Alliance.
Read more →

Could energy storage be onto a winner in France?

We analyse recent market developments in energy storage in France – from Total buying into Aquion Energy, GDF Suez testing Eos Energy Storage batteries to start-ups such as Nawa Technologies. Photo credit: McPhy Energy

We analyse recent market developments in energy storage in France – from Total buying into Aquion Energy, GDF Suez testing Eos Energy Storage batteries to start-ups such as Nawa Technologies. Photo credit: McPhy Energy

It has been a mixed bag for energy storage in France recently. Three weeks ago came the news of faltering finances at Areva, one of France’s biggest power sector companies and a potentially significant energy storage player.The future of Areva’s energy storage programme is as yet still unclear and might not be known until a new strategic plan is unveiled in February.

Almost simultaneously with the Areva bombshell, however, another big French energy player, GDF Suezannounced it would be testing battery systems from Eos Energy Storage, a promising US developer. So what is to be made of the fickle French market?
Read more →

Bosch uses hybrid battery system for energy storage

The Bosch energy storage solution in Braderup consists of a vanadium redox flow battery from Vanadis Power and a Sony lithium-ion battery store.

The Bosch energy storage solution in Braderup consists of a vanadium redox flow battery from Vanadis Power and a Sony lithium-ion battery store. Photo credit: Robert Bosch GmbH

Residents in blustery Braderup, Northern Germany, will be celebrating a Christmas with a difference this year. The energy to cook their Plätzchen will have been plucked from thin air… with help from a groundbreaking energy storage project.In July, the 670-or-so-strong community installed what is believed to be one of Europe’s biggest grid-scale lithium-ion (Li-ion) and vanadium redox flow battery systems to store excess wind energy.

The project, delivered by the German engineering and electronics giant Bosch, is said to have been prompted by a local farmer’s frustration at wind turbines overloading the grid and causing power cuts during gales on the North Frisian coast.

A group of 200 private investors from the community got together, as Braderup-Tinningstedt, to fund their own private wind farm, which installed six 3.3MW turbines at the end of 2013.

Braderup-Tinningstedt then formed Energiespeicher Nord, a joint venture with Bosch, to create the energy storage facility, one of the largest in Europe.
Read more →

A material threat to energy storage?

The Bolivia lithium mining deal highlights the importance of rare earth batteries in energy storage. Most lithium in Bolivia is in the Uyuni salt lake.

The Bolivia lithium mining deal highlights the importance of rare earth batteries in energy storage. Most lithium in Bolivia is in the Uyuni salt lake. Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi

French moves to secure a deal on Bolivian lithium supplies last week again underscored the importance of raw materials in the commercialisation of energy storage.

An agreement on lithium production was one of four letters of intent signed between the Bolivian government and the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, or CEA).

The four signings, which also include a cooperation agreement on nuclear power, were announced last Wednesday, just as news was emerging of troubles at the French state-owned reactor maker Areva.

The lithium agreement, signed off by Bolivia’s Minister of Mining and Metallurgy, César Navarro, and Florence Lambert of the CEA, is the latest development in years of French efforts to gain rights over Bolivian lithium reserves, the largest in the world.
Read more →

Nuclear bomb hits Areva’s flow battery programme

The Areva energy storage programme, including the Areva Schneider Electric flow battery project, is in doubt following the company's profit warning and share price meltdown. Photo credit: FlowBox, KIC-InnoEnergy

The Areva energy storage programme, including the Areva Schneider Electric flow battery project, is in doubt following a profit warning and share price meltdown. Photo credit: FlowBox, KIC-InnoEnergy

The future of a major flow battery initiative appears in doubt after news emerged yesterday of financial troubles at Areva, the French energy giant.

The company, which in October signed an energy storage cooperation agreement with Schneider Electric, announced yesterday afternoon it was suspending its financial outlook for 2015 and 2016 because of problems with its nuclear reactor business.

Areva is currently in a legal wrangle with Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), a Finnish nuclear power company, over the construction of a new European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) at Olkiluoto in Western Finland.

The project has been subject to major cost and schedule over-runs, with both parties blaming the other for causing the problems. Yesterday Areva and its Olkiluoto consortium partner Siemens updated an ongoing claim against TVO, to €3.4bn.

Until the matter is resolved there can be little certainty over when Areva will be paid.

Meanwhile the company is also awaiting the renewal of nuclear operations in Japan, other new reactor projects, recycling export contracts and an uptick in “the still lacklustre market for installed base services,” according to yesterday’s press release.
Read more →

Don’t believe the public utilities: California rocks

Despite lack of interest from public utilities, the Southern California Edison (SCE) announcement of the winners of its 250MW procurement shows the California energy storage market is growing rapidly. Photo credit: AES Energy Storage

Despite lack of interest from public utilities, the Southern California Edison (SCE) announcement of the winners of its 250MW procurement shows the California energy storage market is growing rapidly. Photo credit: AES Energy Storage

The California energy storage market is coming to life in spite of lacklustre backing from the state’s publicly owned utilities. Last week, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced the winners of contracts for 250MW of energy storage, Greentechmedia said, even as California’s publicly owned utilities committed to a mere 27.6MW by 2016, according to the Energy Matters blog.

The blog claims the California public utilities’ targets, all submitted in response to the Assembly Bill 2514 on energy storage procurement, represent about 0.1% of their combined peak load.

The 27.6MW commitment pretty much all came from just two providers: Redding Public Utilities and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
Read more →