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

EI LIVE free webinar | CCUS Webinar & Forum Series: Changing Energy Paradigm via CCUS

15/12/2021
Since the past decades, climate changes had posed significant impacts on the environment, social, economy and politics of all nations across the globe...

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Energy Storage Fundamentals for Energy Security - March 2022

24/03/2022
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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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 - 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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EI LIVE | Aviation Jet Fuel - November 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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Technical guidance publications

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

2022
Publication of this research report is expected by 31 March 2022. If you would like to be notified of the publication of this report (and other EI tec...

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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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Investigation into the risk and impact associated with non-diesel fuel engine vehicles, by type, whilst entering or working within hazardous storage locations

2021
The Road to Zero sets out a path for zero emissions and ultra-low emission vehicles, clearly setting out a drive for manufacturers to develop and sell...

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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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