A record high 5 GW of battery storage capacity was added worldwide in 2020, bringing the total capacity to around 17 GW
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.
Learn more about storage by reading our Energy Insights.
Read our New Energy World articles on how energy storage fits into strategies for carbon reduction.
Learn about recent public funding for research and development of energy storage on our policy milestone calendar.
increase seen in overall investment in battery storage in 2020 (IEA)
fall in the price (volume-weighted average) of a lithium-ion battery pack since 2010 saw prices reach an average of $137/kWh in 2020 (BloombergNEF)
of global energy storage in forecast to be installed by 2030, compared to 34 GWh in 2020 (BloombergNEF)
will be saved by bill-payers by 2050 by moving to a zero carbon gas grid t (Energy Networks Association)
Europe’s largest concentrated solar thermal platform online
Located at a packaging and materials production plant in Turnhout, Belgium, the newly commissioned CST facility features 2,240 surface mirrors, with a...
First piloted flight of liquid hydrogen powered electric aircraft
Four flights powered by liquid hydrogen were completed as part of the flight test campaign, including one flight that lasted for over three hours. The...
China’s solar capacity expected to top 1 TW by 2026
Recent modelling by Rystad shows that new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2023 is expected to top 150 GW in China, almost doubling the 87 GW insta...
Carbon shipping on the rise as emitters search for large-scale storage options
Based on planned carbon capture projects, Rystad predicts that more than 90mn t/y of CO2 will be shipped by the end of the decade, with these volumes ...
Go ahead for Middle East CCUS expansion and major solar project
Developing the Habshan CCUS project is expected to triple ADNOC’s installed carbon capture capacity to 2.3mn t/y, equivalent to removing over 500,000 ...
Events and training
CCUS 2023: Springboard to Net Zero
17/10/2023 - 18/10/2023
CCUS 2023: Springboard to Net Zero 17-18 October 2023 is the flagship event from the Carbon Capture and Storage Association - https://www.ccus.ev...
Aviation Jet Fuel - Nov 2023
14/11/2023 - 16/11/2023
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...
Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF) 2023
15/11/2023 - 16/11/2023
New programme now announced.The RMF is an excellent multi-disciplinary platform that brings together oil producers, scientists, technologists, enginee...
Hazardous Area Classification - December 2023
05/12/2023 - 07/12/2023
This 3-day training course will provide delegates with training on the Energy Institute Model Safe Code of Practice 15, Area Classification for Instal...
Technical guidance publications
Vulnerability review and assessment for safety and environmental critical equipment to control escalation risks on atmospheric storage tank sites
The vulnerability of safety and environmental critical (SEC) equipment used in emergency response to prevent, limit, or mitigate further escalation co...
Model Code of Safe Practice Part 19: Fire precautions at petroleum refineries and bulk storage installations
EI Model Code of Safe Practice Part 19: Fire precautions at petroleum refineries and bulk storage installations (a.k.a. EI 19) provides gui...
Investigation into the risk and impact associated with non-diesel fuel engine vehicles, by type, whilst entering or working within hazardous storage locations (Phase 3)
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...
Model Code of Safe Practice Part 11: Bitumen safety code
The 5th edition of Model Code of Safe Practice Part 11: Safety, health and environmental aspects of design, construction, operation, inspection and ma...
Tripod lite: A ‘lite’ tool for investigating simple incidents, events and near misses
This publication is free to download. Register or log in, then click 'download'.Note: this will download a document 'landing page' that inc...