Energy specialists have called for a rapid roll-out of battery-powered storage to harness the huge boost in renewable generation planned across Europe over the coming decades.
In an open letter to the European Commission – the European Union’s (EU) executive arm – companies including Fluence, Gore Street Capital, Gresham House and MW Storage argued that the planned shift to renewables needs to be met with equally ambitious plans for harnessing the vast influx of green energy.
The companies said: “We believe that if the accelerated near-term deployment of renewable energy sources is to be successful, Europe needs a rapid rollout of proven and scalable technologies to increase grid flexibility and enable the safe and efficient integration of renewable generation. To this end, battery-based energy storage is a quickly deployed, cost-effective, and low-emissions solution with the potential to become a backbone of modern, resilient, and decarbonised energy systems.”
This follows the European Commission’s proposed REPowerEU plan – unveiled in May: a €210bn strategy to wean the continent off Russian hydrocarbons while meeting its climate change goals of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Investments would include €86bn for renewable energy, €27bn for hydrogen infrastructure, €29bn for power grids and €56bn euros for energy savings and heat pumps.
This would be alongside requirements for 45 per cent of EU energy to come from renewable sources by 2030, replacing the current 40 per cent proposal.
It has also called for EU energy consumption to be cut 13 per cent by the end of the decade against expected levels.
All of this will be achieved through a mixture of EU laws, non-binding schemes, and recommendations to governments in the EU’s 27 member countries, which are largely in charge of their national energy policies.
Any legally-binding targets require approval from EU countries and lawmakers, as would any proposed spending commitments.
In 2021, Europe only had 2.4GW of storage – but the signatories warned the EU will need 200GW by 2030 if the bloc is to meet its climate pledges.
The companies concluded: “We look forward to working together with the regulators and other market stakeholders, realising the goals outlined in the RePowerEU Plan by delivering technologies, solutions and policy frameworks to secure affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy systems for European consumers”