Munich/Pforzheim, December 12, 2018: Across the world, large energy storage installations are increasingly being coupled with systems for using renewable energies – be they virtual power plants, photovoltaic (PV) power plants, or wind farms. The potential offered by these large-scale storage systems is particularly clear when they are used in conjunction with PV, because solar power is becoming ever more affordable thanks to the continuously falling prices of PV systems. And these savings create more scope for investing in supplementary storage solutions. The combination of PV and storage systems provides important services for supply security and grid stability for the energy world of the future. It also creates tangible financial incentives, since large energy storage systems in particular afford operators the opportunity to earn additional income, for instance from arbitrages, frequency services and – in countries like the UK – capacity market earnings. Trailblazing investors, project designers and technology suppliers from all over the world will convene at ees Europe, the continent’s largest and most-visited exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, in Munich from May 15–17, 2019.
Solar and wind energy are becoming increasingly affordable and are already displacing fossil fuels. Many current studies confirm the rapid pace of development, including the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) update provided just recently in November by Bloomberg NEF analysts. Every six months, this report takes a closer look at changes in electricity production costs for the most significant energy sources and battery storage systems. The results showed that photovoltaics and wind power became the most cost-efficient energy sources in all of the world’s leading economies except Japan in the second half of 2018. Even in China and India – where coal had long remained the cheapest source of energy – photovoltaics and wind power have now pulled ahead. Internationally, more than 120 billion US dollars are now being invested in photovoltaics each year. Ambitious expansion goals are fueling further progress in many countries throughout the world. Spain, for example, has set the goal of switching over to 100 percent renewables by 2050.
Falling prices are driving markets
The upward trend in photovoltaics is accompanied by a growing energy storage market, which is also benefiting from falling prices. By 2040, according to current figures from Bloomberg NEF’s annual forecast, the decrease in battery storage costs will prompt investments of 620 billion US dollars and the worldwide energy storage market will grow to a total of 942 gigawatts (GW), or 2,857 gigawatt hours (GWh). Based on the price reductions of the last few years, the report predicts that the price of large-scale storage systems will sink by a further 52 percent by 2030.
For industry and investors, this will bring about profitable options for combining PV power plants and storage systems. Numerous projects throughout the world serve as proof that these options pay off, as do current investment products such as fixed-rate bonds, which generate revenue enabling the implementation of large-scale storage systems.
Large-scale storage systems combined with PV power plants – exciting projects worldwide
Particularly topical is the first municipal battery storage project in the UK, which was recently introduced in the county of West Sussex. German battery storage system manufacturer Tesvolt supplied the Westhampnett solar farm with a 4.4 MW high-voltage storage system, which will work together with the 7.4 MW solar farm to stabilize the power grid. The project is run by the county council, which has drawn up a business model based on grid services – since, according to the decision-makers, the system is one of the first in the UK built with a battery storage system and without state funding.
The Italian electricity supplier Edison has also recently introduced a 500 kW/822 kWh storage solution coupled with photovoltaic technology in the south of the country. Edison says that the project will help to extend the availability of solar power over time and at the same time check if other grid services are suited for such storage systems. Also this year, Chinese battery and automobile manufacturer BYD put its first energy storage project into operation on the Polish market. The 1.26 MW/2.52 MWh lithium-ion system is coupled with a 1 MW PV power plant and serves to balance out peak loads and stabilize the grid.
Industry meeting point at ees Europe in Munich
These examples show how large-scale storage systems can fulfill important functions in conjunction with PV power plants, and how they can already generate a profit in the process. The most important large-scale storage suppliers will convene at ees Europe in Munich from May 15–17, 2019, including Tesla, BYD, Tesvolt, LG Chem, Samsung SDI, HOPPECKE, Alfen, Eaton, Nidec, Socomec, Saft and battery manufacturer Kokam, which, in its native country of South Korea, recently set up two lithium NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) oxide energy storage systems rated at 24 MW (9 MWh) and 16 MW (6 MWh) respectively to provide frequency regulation for the national power grid. A total of 1,300 exhibitors are expected to take part in The smarter E Europe in Munich, including 450 storage system providers.
At the exhibition, companies will have the opportunity to meet with the international investors and partners they need for the implementation of ambitious power plant projects and energy storage systems. This also includes leading power plant construction companies and project developers such as Sterling and Wilson from India, German plant construction company Siemens and Finnish company Wärtsilä. The energy supplies of the future are interconnected and the systems operate across different sectors. The smarter E Europe makes sure that all industries are represented – from power generation to consumption and from solar technology to e-mobility. Power plants for the use of renewable energies as well as hybrid and combined power plants will serve as the major focal points at ees Europe and at the parallel event Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry.
ees Europe Conference and other events
As well as at the exhibition itself, the latest and most important industry topics will be consolidated at the ees Europe Conference from May 14–15, 2019. Leading experts from industry and research will discuss storage markets, business models and future technologies in greater detail as part of the extensive conference program.
Power2Drive Europe, the international exhibition for charging infrastructure and electromobility, will take place in parallel to ees Europe for the second time in 2019. With its focus on traction batteries and topics relating to charging infrastructure, Power2Drive complements ees Europe perfectly. Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, and EM-Power, the exhibition for the intelligent use of energy in industry and buildings, will also take place at the same time. All four exhibitions are being held at The smarter E Europe – the innovation hub for empowering new energy solutions.