Research shows Italy leading in grid storage

New research shows grid energy storage in Italy is the biggest market in Europe. Sodium battery technology dominates, thanks to the Terna SANC project which uses NAS battery systems from NGK Insulators.

New research shows grid energy storage in Italy is the biggest market in Europe. Sodium battery technology dominates, thanks to the Terna SANC project which uses NAS battery systems from NGK Insulators. Photo credit: Terna SpA

Germany might get most of the attention but when it comes to European grid-scale battery storage the real action is in Italy, a new report says. Based on an analysis of US Department of Energy data for Energy Storage Update Europe 2015, Top markets for energy storage in Europe shows Italy dominating in grid-scale storage by a large margin.

Thanks mainly to a gigantic battery installation by Terna, the transmission system operator (TSO), Italy has almost double the amount of battery capacity in train as the next 11 largest European energy storage markets put together.

Terna’s SANC complex in Campania, totalling more than 278MWh of storage, not only surpasses the battery storage capacity of any other European market but also skews the electrochemical technology mix for the whole continent.

It means Europe’s dominant electrochemical technology for grid-scale applications is set to be sodium-based batteries, rather than lithium-ion, for some time.
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Energy storage takes a hold in Italy

Energy storage in Italy is a growing market, with grid operator Terna working on various pilot projects.

There is a growing market for energy storage in Italy, with grid operator Terna working on various pilot projects. Photo credit: Terna SpA

Italy is starting to wake up to the potential of energy storage as a means to integrate renewable resources. The country needs energy storage: public incentives to subsidise photovoltaic systems have led to around 17.6GW of installations, which have caused challenges for the network.

This has prompted the electricity transmission grid operator, Terna, to consider implementing energy storage to handle the surges and relieve network congestion. It is working on six pilot projects with a rated capacity of 6MW and 40MWh, and two of 15MW.
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