Islands show how energy transition works

Island renewable energy projects with battery storage, like the Younicos Graciosa Island in the Azores project, could be the model for energy storage in Europe, says Clemens Triebel. Photo: Energy Storage Europe

Island renewable energy projects with battery storage, like the Younicos Graciosa Island in the Azores project, could be the model for energy storage in Europe, says Clemens Triebel. Photo credit: Energy Storage Europe

By Jason Deign

Islands converting power supplies from diesel to renewables could be role models for the global transition to renewable energy, according to Younicos co-founder Clemens Triebel.

“If we’re aiming for a high percentage of solar and wind energy, the expansion of renewables has to be matched with sufficient storage capacity from the start,” said Triebel in an Energy Storage Europe press release.

In contrast, said Triebel, the German electricity system is still discriminating against energy storage in favour of conventional power plants.

“We still produce power according to a 19th century paradigm which holds that energy is best produced by large generators that rotate constantly,” he commented.

“If we continue to cling to this notion, the grid will continue to be taken up by coal, gas and nuclear, blocking space for solar and wind energy more and more frequently.”
Read more →

Regulation to dominate today’s ESN meeting

 This week's UK Electricity Storage Network annual meeting is dominated by the future regulation of energy storage in the UK. Photo credit: OST Energy


This week’s UK Electricity Storage Network annual meeting is dominated by the future regulation of energy storage in the UK. Photo credit: OST Energy

By Jason Deign

The issue of regulation is set to tower over proceedings at today’s Electricity Storage Network (ESN) annual meeting the UK, Energy Storage Report has learned.

UK distribution network operators (DNOs) are keen to deploy storage but face regulatory hurdles due to a lack of definition over how to treat the assets, said Dr Jill Cainey, the ESN’s director.

In particular, from a regulatory point of view storage in the UK is treated as both a source of demand and of supply, since it does not have a class of its own. This means DNOs have to comply with two sets of regulation.

“That’s just not efficient,” blasted Cainey. “You and I could do whatever we like. As soon as it’s owned and operated by a supplier then that becomes a problem.”

Oliver Soper, co-founder and director of the energy technical advisory firm OST Energy, said: “For a DNO it’s a massive challenge.
Read more →

AES: European portfolio grows 20MW in fortnight

AES Energy Storage Solutions is now powering the largest fleet of advanced energy storage in Europe, with the completion of its Advancion battery storage arrays in the Netherlands and at Kilroot Power Station, Ireland.

AES Energy Storage Solutions is now powering the largest fleet of advanced energy storage in Europe, after completing Advancion battery arrays in the Netherlands and at Kilroot Power Station, Ireland. Photo: AES Energy Storage

By Jason Deign

AES Energy Storage Solutions has stepped up its European presence with the completion of two 10MW battery plants so far this year.

Last week the company announced the start of commercial operations for a storage array in the Netherlands, six days after confirming completion of the UK’s largest-ever battery plant, in Northern Ireland.

The AES Netherlands Advancion Energy Storage Array was completed in December, “enhancing European grid reliability with fast response ancillary services,” said the company in a press release.

It uses Panasonic lithium-ion batteries to serve TenneT, the Netherlands national electricity transmission system operator (TSO), with up to 60 minutes of primary operating reserve, a company spokesperson said.

AES UK & Ireland’s Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array, at Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, is broadly similar, also boasting an Advancion 4 management system and 10MW, but with 5MWh of capacity instead of 10MWh.
Read more →

Could grids negate the need for energy storage?

The potential for more grid interconnections in the European transmission system does not minimise the need for energy storage in Europe, according to the European Commission project e-Highway2050. Photo credit: ENTSO-E

The potential for more grid interconnections in the European transmission system does not minimise the need for energy storage in Europe, according to the European Commission project e-Highway2050. Photo credit: ENTSO-E

By Jason Deign

The potential for interconnections to minimise the need for storage across Europe looks vanishingly thin in the face of recent research.

Five future interconnection scenarios published last November as a result of a European Commission project called e-Highway2050 all accept the need for significant storage capacity in order to de-carbonise Europe’s energy system.

The 40-month-long project concluded it would be possible to achieve close to zero carbon emissions by 2050 with an investment of between €100bn and €400bn in electricity transmission infrastructure.

At the same time, however, all the models used in e-Highway2050’s research findings booklet also included an allowance of between 73GW and 113GW of energy storage, compared to 45GW in place in 2012.

“I suppose that the architects behind the project want to demonstrate the high shares of fluctuating energy can be handled,” consultant Paul-Frederik Bach told Energy Storage Report.
Read more →

Will this be the year of energy storage software?

Will 2016 be the year of energy storage software and virtual power plants? We look at developments from companies who are driving the industry like Greensmith, Autogrid Systems and Electro Power Systems, Sonnenbatterie and LichtBlick.

Energy storage software and virtual power plants: We look at developments from companies driving the industry, like Greensmith, Autogrid Systems and Electro Power Systems, Sonnenbatterie and LichtBlick. Photo: Electro Power Systems

By Jason Deign

Recent announcements have signalled growing interest in the development of software systems that can tie energy storage assets together to form virtual power plants.

Last month, for example, the European utility E.ON joined American Electric Power as a major investor in Greensmith, one of the world’s largest providers of energy storage software and integration services.

Meanwhile the energy analytics software firm AutoGrid Systems, of Redwood in California, USA, joined forces with Paris-based hydrogen storage developer Electro Power Systems to build and operate “software-defined power plants.”

The December announcements follow a growing number of energy storage software developments in 2015.

E.ON’s interest in Greensmith, for example, could be seen as countermeasure against Sonnenbatterie’s November announcement of a community based energy-trading platform in Germany.
Read more →

Dynapower set for 90% growth in 2016

By Jason Deign

Inverter maker Dynapower is expecting between 90% and 100% growth in its energy storage business after racking up a 75MW order backlog.

Chip Palombini, leader of Dynapower’s energy storage group, told Energy Storage Report: “I think we’ll see significant growth in North America and some international markets are coming up to speed.”

He said the bi-directional inverter maker was expecting to see between 30MW and 35MW of non-US installations next year and “US deployments in 2016 will at least double or triple that.”

That would bring this year’s growth to a similar level to 2015. Dynapower’s energy storage business has grown at close to 100% for three years in a row, Palombini said.

“Storage inverters are the most rapidly growing portion of our business,” he commented.
Read more →