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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.
Last week, Ikea announced that it would be ‘launching’ a battery storage offering to sell alongside its solar panels in the UK . The week previously, Siemens – another well-known brand – announced that it would be joining forces with AES to create a global force in energy storage.
The increasing trend towards vertical integration
This week, one of the UK’s largest renewable energy system distributors, CCL, purchased Firefly Solar Generators – a relatively small manufacturer of energy storage systems.
Attending the UK Electricity Storage Network’s 'Good Storage, Better Storage' event a few days ago, one thing was obvious: energy storage is high up on the UK’s energy agenda. BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) and Ofgem clearly understand what the challenges for energy storage are and that they need to be addressed.
We see these challenges ranging from the lack of definition for energy storage, potentially designing a new asset class and resolving the ownership issue for network operators, right across to market barriers such as the ability to access and effectively stack revenue streams. All in all this provides a glimpse at the plethora of barriers for energy storage that remain in place in the UK today.
Energy storage has been the hot topic in the distributed energy industry since Tesla made its move into stationary storage a couple of years ago. As is often the case with ‘new’ technology, the headlines and the hype has been quite far ahead of the reality.
The reality in Europe today is that behind-the-meter (BTM) battery storage markets remain very small in most countries. Market growth is mainly concentrated in just three countries: Germany, Italy and the UK. And Germany is easily the biggest market – it accounts for over 90% of the total European market. So the impact to date on most European energy retailers is very limited.
A couple of weeks ago Mercedes-Benz announced to invest €500 million into a new battery manufacturing facility in Germany, which is part of a wider strategy to invest €1 billion into battery production globally. This was followed by the announcement last week to also expand into the U.S. energy storage market.
The scale of the investment – compared to €5 billion R&D expenditure for the entire Daimler Group in 2015 – is an incredibly strong statement for the group’s electric vehicle and energy storage strategic plans.
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