New energy storage alliance launched

Officially launched with 70 founding members, the International Battery and Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA) states its mission is to “promote a path of cooperation and mutual support in achieving proactive solutions between all sectors within the photovoltaic (PV) power generation, battery storage and the smart grid technology value chain.”

The two men behind the new association are Bryan Ekus, managing director of the International PV Equipment Association, and Markus Hoehner, head of the Hoehner Research & Consulting Group.

Aimed at promoting networking and professional resources for “all those who produce and support solar, battery and energy services,” the IBESA costs €3,000 per year to join. We wish them every success and hope they will add to the development and adoption of energy storage.

Toyota commits to hydrogen energy storage

Toyota Motors has joined the London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP), the first major automaker to do so. The LHP was set up in 2002 to develop a network of hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) stakeholders in the capital and help develop HFC technologies in London.

Over the last few years, the LHP has initiated more than GBP£50 million (USD$76 million) worth of hydrogen projects, including attracting and rolling out new hydrogen buses, taxis, scooters, refueling stations, materials handling vehicles and fuel cell combined heat and power units to London.

BVES goes from strength to strength

Despite (or perhaps because of) the recent worrying news that plans for energy storage subsidies are to be mothballed indefinitely by the German government, the German Energy Storage Association (BVES) continues to add new names to its roster of members.

In an interview published by PV, the Association’s founder, Dr Eicke Weber, stated the “huge demand for membership clearly demonstrates that the growing energy storage business sector is looking for organised, professional representation at a national level.”

Those new members include Fraunhofer IWS Dresden, NEC Europe, Gildemeister Energy Solutions, Hochtief Solutions AG, SMA Solar Technology AG, Clariant, GP Joule, Power One and Vattenfall.

In the same interview, Weber described NanoMarket’s recent prediction that the global solar energy storage systems market would be worth US$2 billion by 2018 as a “conservative estimate”. Let’s hope he’s right.

Australia set for energy storage boom

There is a lot of encouraging clean-tech news coming from Down Under these days. A report entitled Energy Storage in Australia – Commercial Opportunities, Barriers and Policy Options, compiled by Marchment Hill Consulting, makes the prediction that by 2030 energy storage capacity will reach more than 3GW. The current usage is estimated at around one tenth of that figure.

The report also estimates that the average cost could fall by more than 50% by decade’s end, to reach around USD$300/kW in a best-case scenario. The Australian industry itself has aimed for around $250/kW, which may be a little optimistic given another estimate, this time from Lux Consulting, of $500/kW.

Australian lobby group the Clean Energy Council cites increasing fossil-fuel prices, as well as the falling price of energy storage, as being a key factor in the sector’s predicted growth, claiming the market for energy storage will outshine the photovoltaic solar industry in terms of being a transformative technology.

During an interview with, the Council’s strategic policy manager, Tim Sonnreich said: “Whether policy makers like it or not, it’s coming. The cost-curves are coming down and the costs of alternatives (such as coal and gas) are going up. Storage is becoming a better and better deal.”

Germany launches energy storage organisation & new subsidies

We had only just congratulated the Twitter-meister of the newly announced German Storage Association, when we came across the equally exciting news in PV Magazine that the German Federal government was to launch a €50 million subsidy to nurture energy storage development in the country. What’s more, this money is only the beginning of a longer-term policy of encouraging the adoption of energy storage, and will include €2,000 individual handouts for each installation, a move presumably aimed at boosting domestic deployment.

World Smart Energy Week features storage

The world’s leading all-round smart and renewable energy trade show World Smart Energy Week 2013 will be opening its doors from February 27 until March 1, 2013, at the Tokyo Big Sight venue, Japan. This year the huge event comprises several different trade shows that will be of interest to energy storage professionals, including the Ninth International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Expo, and the Fourth International Rechargeable Battery Expo. What more reason do you need to attend?

Planned network of H2 refueling stations takes shape in Germany

We are reading more and more about hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicles, such as Hyundai’s hydrogen-powered Tucson SUV. As Hyundai, Honda, Daimler, Nissan, Toyota and others gear up to enter this emerging market-place, the question of where these wonderful new vehicles will be refueled obviously arises.

In Germany plans are already in development for facilities that could service this projected fleet of clean vehicles, reports Petrol Plaza. The current partners in the H2 Mobility initiative (Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell, and Total) are working on implementing a business model to build up a nationwide hydrogen refueling station network.

Seven other partners from the car industry – BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Intelligent Energy, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen – are involved, as well as the National Organization of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW), are involved, plus Germany’s federal government.