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 New 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 calendar.

What's new?

Ukraine disrupts gas deliveries to Europe for the first time

18/05/2022
 While alternative pipelines are able to take a significant amount of the lost capacity, the move represented another cut in Europe’s ability to ...

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Plans for German hydrogen hub, while UK hydrogen trial gets underway

11/05/2022
The BlueHyNow project will be developed at Wilhelmshaven, on the German North Sea coast, which already boasts strong, networked infrastructure with tw...

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Industry-first liquid air energy storage demonstrator project goes live

11/05/2022
The technology stores energy in liquid air form to provide compressed air, which allows partially loaded, variable-demand compressors to be turned off...

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Eastern Caribbean’s first power plant with LNG terminal to be constructed in Antigua

04/05/2022
The project in Antigua combines both a power plant and an LNG gas terminal, storage and regasification facility, the first of its kind to be installed...

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UK Chancellor cuts fuel duty and offers energy efficiency support

30/03/2022
This widely anticipated measure brings UK fuel duty, which has been static since 2011, down to 53 p/l, and represents an annual saving of around £100 ...

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Events and training

Hazardous Area Classification - October 2022

11/10/2022
This 3-day training course will provide delegates with training on the Energy Institute Model Safe Code of Practice 15, Area Classification for Instal...

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Energy Storage Fundamentals for Energy Security - November 2022

03/11/2022
This course is also available as a self-paced online course here. This 2-day classroom training course allows you to gain a comprehensive understan...

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Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF) 2022

16/11/2022
The RMF is an excellent multi-disciplinary platform that brings together oil producers, scientists, technologists, engineers, academics and researcher...

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Aviation Jet Fuel - November 2022

22/11/2022
This 3-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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Technical guidance publications

Battery storage research report: Using second-life electric vehicle batteries for stationary storage

2022
This publication is free to download. Please log in to see the download option.This research report aims to set out the issues related to the use of '...

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Research report: The assurance of liner integrity during tank floor works on above-ground storage tanks holding petroleum, petroleum product or other fuels

2022
This technical publication is intended to provide guidance on the assurance of liner integrity during tank floor works on above-ground storage tanks h...

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Assessing environmental impacts of energy storage technologies for grid scale applications

2022
ObjectivesThe objective of this project is to produce a guidance document with two main aims:To summarise the key environmental, material and other su...

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IP 467: Determination of the high temperature stability of middle distillate fuel

2022
This standard specifies a procedure for the assessment of the relative stability of middle distillate fuels under high temperature ageing conditions w...

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Minimal staffing and lone working: ensuring employee safety and wellbeing in the power sector

2022
This publication is free to download for registered members of this site.This publication provides good practice guidance to help organisations manage...

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