A variety of events threaten a country's energy supply: Attacks or weather extremes can lead to instability of the power grid and, in the worst case, to a blackout. In order for the supply system to provide energy even under stress, it must be designed to be resilient. In this context, the importance of energy storage is growing.
Up to now, the contribution to grid stabilization made by private individuals as prosumers is not usually rewarded financially. Although more and more people are heating their homes in a climate-friendly way with a heat pump and connecting the photovoltaic system on the roof and the wallbox for the e-car with a battery storage system, home storage systems have so far generally only reduced the maximum grid load at the connection point of buildings, a kind of peak shaving in miniature.
Only with flexible electricity tariffs and performance prices could these prosumers make not only their self-generated low-cost PV electricity pay off, but also their service for grid stabilization.
In contrast, business models that digitally connect home storage units to form a swarm are already capable of making a real contribution to grid stability. Here, each participant leaves part of its electricity storage to the swarm. If there is too much electricity in the grid, the excess electricity can be taken up by the swarm storage units to be fed back into the grid later. In sum, more solar power flows into the grid without the need for additional grid expansion.
This concept can be transferred to larger storage systems, which are designed as an element of the power grid directly to stabilize it. In addition, the automotive industry is also identifying stationary storage as a new business area in the field of electromobility.
Large-scale battery storage systems equipped with second-life batteries from e-vehicles can absorb surplus electricity from wind and solar energy and feed it into the grid as needed. This could reduce expensive shutdowns of wind and solar farms and at the same time stabilize grids.
In addition to technical innovations, there are also important political decisions to be made: For example, on December 14, 2022, the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the financing of the REPower program. The program aims to strengthen European energy security. Thus, all energy storage facilities - both stand-alone storage facilities and those combined with renewables - are to be included in the new, accelerated approval rules for renewable energy projects in designated priority areas.
Learn more in the ees Europe press release of February 14, 2023.