The electricity grid of the future needs energy storage systems

In particular, battery storage has the potential to drive forward the energy transition and to contribute to increasing the flexibility of the electricity grid. One reason for this is that the technology is also 

becoming affordable for homeowners. To identify the opportunities and challenges associated with this technology, the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena), the German Energy Agency, has launched a study on the optimal use of storage facilities.

Storage systems

Energy storage for the flexible integration of renewable energy sources

Battery storage systems have the potential to play a key role in the storage of renewable energy. In a study, dena is investigating the opportunities the technology offers for various applications.

The expansion of renewable energy (RE) is a crucial component of the energy transition in Germany. According to the Federal Government's energy concept, renewable energy should account for 80 percent of electricity supply by the year 2050. The system integration of renewable energy sources, however, requires a high degree of flexibility. Serving as stepping stones for the implementation of the goals are innovative storage technologies which equalise the feeding-in of electricity from wind energy and photovoltaic systems, thereby making the fluctuating energy from sources such as wind and solar available at all times.

dena study investigates potential of battery storage

dena has launched a study on the topic of battery storage under the title of "Optimised use of battery storage for grid and market applications in power supply" (or dena Grid Flex Study for short).  This study investigates how storage facilities can contribute to increasing the flexibility of the electricity grid. One central aim of the dena Grid Flex Study is to find operational models which increase the economic potential of the storage facilities, while at the same time relieving the strain on the electricity grid.

This is all the more important because the use of energy storage facilities alone is generally not profitable. A purely market-oriented operation of storage facilities can increase the load on electricity grids as well as the need for expansion. The dena Grid Flex Study, which is being carried out in collaboration with major players from the energy industry, uses this issue as a starting point. Participants include grid operators, energy suppliers, system manufacturers, and providers of storage solutions. The results are expected in early 2017.

Our projects

dena Distribution Grid Study

The dena Distribution Grid Study is a detailed examination of the need for expansion and conversion in the German electricity distribution grids based on two alternative expansion scenarios for renewable energy sources. The results highlight a significant need for expansion of the high, medium and low voltage as well as the intermediate transformer levels by 2030.

Overview

  • Publication: December 2012
  • Partners of the study: 17 companies (with a focus on grid operation and energy supply)
  • Involvement of a board of expert advisers from ministries and associations
  • Agents: dena, Technical University of Dortmund / ef. Ruhr GmbH, Prof. Dr. Gert Brunekreeft

Grid Flex Study

In its “Grid Flex Study", dena is investigating how storage facilities can be used to increase flexibility in the electricity grid. The aim is to identify operating models for storage facilities that are economically viable and which reduce the load on the electricity grid.

Overview

  • Project start: February 2016
  • Study duration: 12 months (until the end of January 2017)
  • The partners in the study are 23 companies from various industries (grid operators, energy providers, plant engineers and providers of storage facility solutions)

Grid Study I and II

With the help of Grid Studies I and II, dena presents the measures which will allow the German electricity grid to meet the challenges of the future: through targeted grid expansion and at the same time optimising the existing energy infrastructure.

Overview

  • Grid Study I: released in February 2005
  • Grid Study I: 17 partners from the industry (grid and installation operators as well as their associations) as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
  • Grid Study II: released in November 2010
  • Grid Study II: 14 partners from the industry (grid and installation operators as well as their associations) as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)