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 Energy research

Research needed into energy storage

PV installation in Spain
Research needed into energy storage
  • The overall goal of the Energy Research Programme is to contribute to the development of sustainable energy systems and high-quality, low-cost energy services for Europe. In pursuing this goal, the aim is to support research on technologies that yield:
    • Substantial reductions in energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions and harmful pollutant emissions over the whole energy chain;
    • Increased security of energy supply, through diversification of primary energy sources;
    • Cost-effective integration of renewable energy sources (RES);
    • Improved competitiveness of EU industry.

PV installation in Spain

The objective is to develop technologies and systems for the storage of electricity for grid-connected applications enabling the increased penetration of renewable and distributed generation of electricity in new distributed electricity networks. RTD should also consider the analysis of storage system performance (in terms of lifetime, system lifetime cost, reliability, safety and recyclability of materials, including life cycle analysis), the benchmarking of technologies (such as batteries, reversible fuel cells, supercapacitors, flywheels and SMES, for storing electricity in grid-connected applications) and pre-normative research.

Why is EU support necessary?

  • The aim is to achieve better co-operation and collaboration between relevant EU Member States' national programmes, and to foster links with international programmes.
  • There are numerous technologies available, both traditional and emerging, but there is a need to join efforts in this area to produce results useful for research, storage manufacturers and electric utilities at European scale.

Bottlenecks and barriers

What are the issues that need to be addressed?

The energy storage research goals are achieved through research in the following major areas of energy storage technologies:

  • Research on critical technologies to achieve improved performance, durability and cost reductions; this includes active materials development, materials processing, packaging, etc. for components such as electrochemical cells, modules and complete batteries, super-capacitors, fuel cell stacks, and flywheels;
  • Research on innovative energy storage technologies for grid-connected applications by developing new concepts for energy storage technologies and by exploiting the synergies with transport applications, where it is applicable.
  • Research actions on benchmark technologies and promote cost-effective implementation. This includes definition of standard test procedures for stationary and transport applications, simulation, energy and environmental impact assessment, bench testing and safety assessment.

What are the major technical challenges to be overcome?

New energy storage technologies will always have to be developed and introduced in such a way that environmental hazards are reduced during use, and they enable comprehensive collection schemes and safe recycling of the materials.

What are the major non-technical challenges?

The challenge of EU research in this important field is to renew interest and help focus the European manufacturing industry and research organisations on this topic. Several activities on new storage technologies are already ongoing, but it is necessary to ensure European competitiveness in world-wide markets.


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