We all know how important energy storage technology for the advancement of renewable energy, but how much energy storage will we need in order to ensure grid stability as more and more electricity is generated from renewable sources?
Estimates for Germany covering the next four to six years vary from as little as 3GW to as much as 30GW. A study conducted by Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation, predicts that the country will need 13-50 GW of energy storage by 2030.
Head of the Storage Solutions innovation project, Karl-Josef Kuhn said “storage technology is the key, not only to the transition to a new energy mix in Germany, but also for decarbonization at a global level.”
Energy storage solutions range from conventional pumped-storage plants to advanced battery-based systems. The former are used to store large volumes of water, which can be used to generate electricity. Germany currently has nine pumped-storage facilities capable of collectively generating about seven gigawatts. But that falls well short of what will be required in the future.
“Pumped-storage power plants have limited potential for expansion, which means we have to find alternative storage technologies that will accommodate large volumes of electricity,” explains Kuhn. Battery solutions, such as lithium-ion-based storage system, have made huge advances.
“The key factor in making the transition to a new energy mix succeed, is that we will need a combination of storage technologies,” says Kuhn.