Energy storage, a versatile agent for the energy system of the future

    A secure energy supply in addition to compliance with the 2020 commitments and subsequent years relating to emissions reduction, increased energy efficiency and the introduction of renewables into all energy sectors, have become priorities at European level. This has resulted in Europe, the USA, Japan and India promoting all types of actions and technologies that will achieve the proposed objectives. For this reason recent years have seen the development of numerous activities and projects relating to energy storage systems, in particular those linked to the integration of renewable energy and the deployment of smart grids

    Energy storage systems are very versatile, with diverse functionalities, and can provide numerous energy services as a result of the large number of different technologies both available and under development.

    The boom in energy storage, particularly electrical energy storage, is largely due to the development of renewable energies and distributed generation. The development of primarily renewable generation systems close to the consumption nuclei, small communities, rural or residential areas, etc. favours the storage option as a way of guaranteeing that local grids operate correctly through optimal energy management. Energy storage plays a key role in smart grids as regards resource management, adjusting generation and consumption, acting as a back-up, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels in areas with systems based on diesel generators, etc.

    Raquel Garde
    Head of the Energy Storage Area at CENER, the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre

    Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2015