Page 10 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
P. 10

10  Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation


The role of the storage in the

future European energy system

By Andreea Strachinescu
Head of Unit "New energy technologies and innovation" – DG Energy – European Commission (pictured)

It is a top priority of European            the Energy Union and boost the clean     created challenges especially for the
      Energy Policy to have secure and      energy transition by modernising our     operation of the European electricity
      cost-effective energy for European    economy.1                                system. The power generation mix
      citizens and enterprises. The                                                  has changed with unprecedented
 internal energy market should play         The energy system in Europe has a        speed and therefore new solutions
 an important role in the achievement       great degree of complexity, partially    for the electricity system need to
 of the EU's targets by providing the       due to its historical national focus     be considered. The role of forward-
 necessary cost signals. These targets      and more recently due to the rapid       looking energy policy plays a crucial
 aim to obtain greater decarbonisation,     changes in demand and supply             role in enabling the needed solutions.
 increased deployment of renewables,        patterns. This applies to the gas, heat
 better affordability and greater energy    and the electricity grids. Recently      Investments in storage, both for
 efficiency, which will ultimately deliver  the large-scale deployment of            Security of Supply and grid flexibility,
 progress towards all the objectives of     variable renewables generation has       have been challenged by increasing
                                                                                     levels of risk in energy infrastructure
                                                                                     related investments, resulting in
                                                                                     sub-optimal level of investments in
                                                                                     flexibility from system point of view.
                                                                                     We need a market framework that
                                                                                     supports and incentives flexibility in
                                                                                     existing and new generation assets
                                                                                     and other flexibility mechanisms.

                                                                                     Storage can contribute to a much
                                                                                     more effective use of today’s existing
                                                                                     grid infrastructure, at all voltage levels.
                                                                                     A more flexible grid will contribute to
                                                                                     making the most efficient use of the
                                                                                     existing infrastructure, reducing the
                                                                                     peak load in the main transmission
                                                                                     and distribution lines. This will have a
                                                                                     positive effect on the capacity needs
                                                                                     of the interconnections, where even
                                                                                     the interconnection target (10% by
                                                                                     2020 and 15% by 2030) could be
                                                                                     insufficient for the needed flexibility.

                                                                                     The generation technology mix
                                                                                     and the location and size of these
                                                                                     generation capacities determine the
                                                                                     grid flexibility needs. Many storage
                                                                                     technologies are scalable and
                                                                                     geographically rather independent,
                                                                                     making storage a prime solution
                                                                                     in the evolving energy system,
                                                                                     accommodating the changing

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