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Key takeaways from the Energy Storage Global Conference

Key takeaways from the Energy Storage Global Conference

Last week I attended the Energy Storage Global Conference (ESGC18) in Brussels, organised by the European Association for the Storage of Energy (EASE). It was a very well organised and enjoyable event but as always, content is king, and the conference certainly delivered on this front too.

There were lots of interesting presentations over three days, and Delta-ee Director Andy Bradley had the opportunity to present headlines from our EMMES 2.0 report published in June. See here for details of the EMMES 2.0 report and contact [email protected] if you would like a copy of the presentation.

View the video of a chat with Andy Bradley 

There were many interesting takeaways from the conference:

  • The hydrogen bandwagon is really on the way. There was a major agreement between 25 member states in Austria recently and the gas industry is seriously starting to discuss alternatives to methane. In Brussels there is talk of a ‘gas package’ by early 2020 to be agreed in the Commission.
  • There was a lot of focus on storage technologies other than lithium-ion, particularly thermal. Maybe stationary storage sector will increasingly recognise they can’t (shouldn’t?) compete with transport for limited lithium ion resources, but use other solutions (chemical, thermal...) instead? Our ongoing analysis and future EMMES reports will be tracking this market closely to anticipate emerging trends.
  • There are currently significant fees incurred at end of life for lithium ion batteries – around $4-5000/t at moment. These will come down as the recycling industry matures, but it’s likely to be a drag on economics for some time to come. In contrast, owners of lead acid batteries can get paid for recycling their depleted units.
  • Big policy decisions in Spain in October open the market for energy storage. Could Spain be the next hot spot for the European electrical energy storage market? We had already identified this potential in EMMES 2.0 report and now it looks set to be realised.
  • We had some interesting discussions with companies such as Siemens developing GWh storage concepts that have the potential to give a second life to decommissioned fossil power stations. It will be fascinating to see if this application emerges.
  • The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme is to become Horizon Europe with €100bn to invest over 2021-2027. The basic structure of the programme remains the same – it’s evolution not revolution. This scale of commitment shows how important this field of activity is within the EU.
  • Strong development in the energy storage markets in China, USA and India
  • The winter package will define the regulatory framework for the deployment of storage (Ownership, Double tax…)
  • Interesting debates on what companies can own storage – It seems that under specific circumstances TSO & DNO will be able to own storage assets

If you'd like to discuss any of our key takeaways, do get in touch: [email protected] / +44 (0)131 285 1774

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