G!E Academy on Storage

Greenovate! Europe members presented their expanding competences in the area of Storage at an academy session organised in co-operation with the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) this week. CENER’s Renewable Energy Grid Integration Department (IRE) hosted the event, showcasing the impressive depth and scope of their research and development activities in this field.

With the potential to smooth the integration of renewables, as well to increase grid reliability and reduce costs, storage is increasingly seen as a priority sector by EU industry and policy makers. In Pamplona, Greenovate! Europe members showcased the range of work they are undertaking in this area, covering both storage solutions for the energy system, as well as for industrial and residential users.

Storage for the energy system

CENER presented a selection of the different storage technologies which they are working on, including: CSP solar thermal storage, cryogenic energy storage (cryohub.eu) and zinc-air energy storage (zaess.eu).

Among the other Greenovate! Europe members in attendance, Technofi presented the Grid+Storage project, which has defined a European R&D roadmap integrating energy storage into grid research and innovation activities. Zabala Innovation Consulting also explained their involvement in the Intensys4EU project, supporting the newly created ETIP SNET - European Technology and Innovation Platform for Smart Networks for the Energy Transition.

Industrial and residential solutions

Within the area of storage for industry, C-Tech Innovation presented innovative electro-chemical storage technologies. They are producing Vanadium electrolyte - the vital component of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs), an extremely flexible storage solution. Michael Heidenreich also presented an Austrian project which has investigated the use of hydrogen peroxide for the decentralised storage of electrical and thermal energy.

Overcoming market barriers

Raquel Garde, Head of Energy Storage at CENER, also explained the STORY project. STORY will show the added value of storage at eight demonstration sites around Europe, aiming to build business cases for the wider roll-out of these technologies. “As things stand” Raquel explained, “storage is still facing three main challenges relating to: the maturity of the technologies, costs – both CAPEX and OPEX – and the regulatory and market frameworks.”

Speakers from the Government of Navarre, and the Spanish Energy Storage Interplatforms Group (GIA) also participated in the Academy, allowing for further discussion on the specific barriers facing storage technologies, and how they will be overcome. The event was followed by a tour of CENER’s Microgrid installation in Sanguesa.