The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) assesses Europe’s storage needs around 200GW by 2030 and 600GW by 2050.
With the current installed storage capacity at approximately 60MW and a historic deployment level of 1GW/year, a massive ramp-up in uptake of at least 14 GW/year is required to meet the targets, according to EASE.
“Current market trajectories for storage will fail to meet these requirements of the energy system by 2030 if urgent measures to boost deployment are not taken now,” the organisation states in its report.
“The EU urgently needs to adopt an Energy Storage Target and strategy to accelerate the necessary storage deployment today.”
EASE’s analysis, based on a review of existing scientific literature, official documents from the European Commission and input from relevant stakeholders, is built on the premise that storage deployment today is seriously lagging behind wind and solar deployment and needs to go in parallel with the renewable uptake.
The analysis also is focussed on the system needs rather than the storage technology mix itself, which will depend on the evolving costs, technologies and innovation landscape.
Assumptions in the 2030 assessment include 67GW batteries, 65GW pumped hydro, 55GW energy storage (power-to-X-to-power) to replace a portion of gas turbine flexibility in 2030 and 40GW electrolyser capacity to determine a capacity requirement of at least 187GW. This figure includes the existing primarily pumped hydro capacity.
The 2050 assessment includes the 65GW pumped hydro, 200GW long duration energy storage, 120GW of vehicle-to-grid and 50GW batteries in determining the minimum 600GW capacity requirement and comprised of around 435GW of power-to-X-to-power solutions and 165GW of power-to-X technologies providing one-directional system flexibility.
Should storage be accelerated to replace the use of gas power plants to provide flexibility, as highlighted in the REPowerEU plan, then both the 2030 and 2050 requirements would be further increased.
In conclusion, the EASE report states that establishing these 2030 and 2050 values as energy storage targets at EU level with a dedicated strategy will provide a clear signal to the storage industry and investors to begin building the infrastructure needed to drive large-scale deployment in parallel with supporting renewables integration.
“Energy storage targets are a necessary complement to existing EU climate targets and will allow Europe to foster a local, sustainable green energy system independent of external energy imports.”