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US-EU Energy Council initiative: European Union and U.S. define strategic goals for research on energy storage

Brussels, 20 October 2010

Experts from Europe and the United States have agreed on strengthening cooperation in the research on energy storage for power grids. Following a two-day, high-level workshop in Washington (DC) they stressed the importance of energy storage technologies for a sustainable energy system. Up to now, lack of cost-effective energy storage on power grids is regarded as the biggest obstacle for harnessing the potential of renewable energies. Also innovative material solutions are needed for the efficient storage and release of energy.

Lower-cost storage technologies would allow building up electricity systems which rely to large parts of intermittent renewable energy sources as wind and photovoltaics. Carbon emissions for power production could be considerably reduced and market penetration of low carbon-footprint electric vehicles facilitated. The participants of the workshop - top scientists, European and US-officials as well as utility executives from electricity companies - defined storage requirements of the future grid and discussed the most promising technologies. To transform their vision into a reality, further advances in materials science are required.

Long term research and development opportunities were assessed. Cooperative energy research in grid storage technology, amongst other areas, will be one topic of the next US EU Energy council. The EU and U.S. already cooperate on areas such as solar power, hydrogen and fuel cells, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy, both fusion and fission. The cooperation will be extended within the next years to new strategic areas in other priority sectors including smart grids, advanced materials for energy applications and energy efficient buildings.

More information

European Commission
International Cooperation with the USA
European Strategic Energy Technology Plan

U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Policy and International Affairs

Contacts
EC press officer: Florian Frank, florian.frank@ec.europa.eu, Tel.: +32 2 29 97934
EC International Cooperation Officer: Gilles Lequeux, gilles.lequeux@ec.europa.eu, Tel. +32 2 29 92367