The European energy sector has gone through fundamental changes with rapid growth of renewable and sustainable solutions across all industries, responding to a growing pressure from governments to achieve ambitious carbon neutrality targets.
The need for large scale development of battery storage assets has become a hot topic mostly since the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris where nations committed to support a rapid and global transition to renewable energy technologies. Since then, the European Commission has notably placed the offshore wind industry and more broadly renewable energy at the core of its EU Green Deal strategy to support its target of net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. At each country level, national polices have contributed to facilitate (or limit) the development and the competitiveness of energy storage assets through the implementation of specific market design rules and dedicated support schemes for batteries. Nevertheless a few hurdles still remain.
The ambitious targets are expected to be met by increasing wind and solar generation capacity and its weight in the energy mix. An analysis published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that by 2050 over 80% of the world's electricity supply could be generated from renewable sources, with solar PV and wind power accounting for 52% of total production. As these intermittent sources of electricity generation gradually replace baseload fossil fuel plants (which offer flexibility and stability to grid operators) the importance of batteries grows. Both large scale battery storage and behind-the-meter solutions (including Electric Vehicles), will be important to enable this change, providing services essential to reduce the supply and demand imbalances that arise from increased intermittent energy sources. Researches show that the global energy storage capacity is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31% in the coming decade and will hit 741 GWh of cumulative capacity by 2030.
In this context, the use of battery storage will also be important for countries with less developed interconnection capacity, as it is partially the case for the UK for example compared to other European countries, which explained why storage deployment has particularly accelerated in this country over recent years.
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