Energy networks and storage

Energy storage deployment reached a record yearly high of over 8GWh in 2018, nearly doubling from 2017

Energy storage allows for flexibility in the timing of when energy is supplied and when it is used. Energy storage comes in a number of forms, including chemical, kinetic, thermal, gravitational potential, electromagnetic, electrochemical and osmotic potential. The choice of storage solution depends on location as well as reserve service required, since different technologies can provide different capacities and durations of storage. Storage of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels has been commonplace for centuries; as the low carbon transition requires integration of increasing intermittent renewable sources into the system, energy storage is becoming integral for reducing dependency on fossil fuels and achieving a flexible, resilient energy network. Strategic placement of storage also gives the potential to avoid otherwise necessary network upgrades and curtailment of expensive assets. Greater connectivity between different energy networks, i.e. interconnection across national grids, can allow for security of supply without needing additional generation capacity.

Energy storage has applications varying from small-scale local systems in homes or commercial buildings – which are becoming increasingly common alongside the rise of distributed generation – to utility-scale storage systems. Common examples of energy storage include batteries (mainly lithium-ion) which store electricity as chemical energy, pumped hydroelectric storage systems which store gravitational potential energy in elevated reservoirs, and ice storage tanks which store thermal energy by freezing water with cheaper energy at night to meet peak cooling demand in daytime. Surplus renewable electricity can also be used to produce energy carriers like hydrogen, enabling the storage of renewable energy for long periods. Electric vehicles can also function as storage systems, since electricity can be transferred both to and from the batteries of plugged-in vehicles when needed. With energy storage expected to play a greater role towards a low-carbon and sustainable energy future, various storage technologies must be evaluated to balance the trade-offs between life-cycle cost, efficiency, material sustainability and safety.

Read our Energy World articles on how energy storage fits into strategies for carbon reduction.

Learn more about storage by reading our Energy Insights.

Learn about recent public funding for research and development of energy storage on our policy milestone website.

What's new?

Predicting well-stimulation results in a gas-storage field in the absence of reservoir data with neural networks. S. Mohaghegh et al. SPE Reservoir Engng., November 1996, 11(4), 268--272.

Methodology is presented that is capable of forecasting the post fracture deliverability on the basis of historical data in Clinton sandstone gas-stor...

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Electricity Storage Network Consultation Document 2014

This report demonstrates the need for electricity storage in the UK and how it can form a valuable part of our national electrical infrastructure. The...

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Events and training

Energy Storage Fundamentals for Energy Security - October 2021

21-10-2021
This course is also available as a self-paced online course here. This 2-day virtual blended training course allows you to gain a comprehensive und...

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EI LIVE | Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF) 2021

10-11-2021
The RMF is an excellent multi-disciplinary platform that brings together oil producers, scientists, technologists, engineers, academics and researcher...

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EI LIVE | Aviation Jet Fuel - November 2021

17-11-2021
This 2-day training course will provide delegates with an overview of aviation jet fuel, focusing on the jet engine, its underlying principles and fue...

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Middle East HSE and Sustainability Week

22-11-2021
22 - 24 November 2021, virtual conference Resilience: Responding | Rebuilding | Reimagining Middle East HSE and Sustainability Week brings togeth...

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Energy Storage Fundamentals for Energy Security - Online version

<p> This course is also available as a live webinar (virtual blended) here. This online self-paced training course will allow you to gain a...

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Technical guidance publications

Failure mode and effects analysis tool for above-ground storage tanks storing petroleum, petroleum products or other fuels – Part 2: Effects analysis for secondary containment

2021
This technical publication is a user guide to accompany the workbook for the Failure mode and effects analysis tool for above-ground storage tanks sto...

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Checklist prior to the introduction of E10 Fuels into service station storage tanks

2021
In September 2021, the standard unleaded petrol grade in the UK will change to E10, in line with government mandate. E10 petrol contains up to 10% ren...

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Failure mode and effects analysis tool for above-ground storage tanks storing petroleum, petroleum products or other fuels - Part 1: Failure mode analysis for primary containment

2021
This technical publication is a user guide to accompany the workbook for the Failure mode and effects analysis tool for above-ground storage tanks sto...

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Model Code of Safe Practice Part 9: Liquefied petroleum gas - large bulk storage

2021
This technical publication provides good practice guidance on the layout, design, operation and integrity management for bulk LPG storage installation...

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HM 79. Shore tank handbook. Tank design and ancilliary equipment relating to measurement and sampling of hydrocarbon liquids in shore tanks

2021
This document identifies the standards and considers alternative designs and equipment used in onshore storage tanks for petroleum liquids, specifical...

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