World Energy Storage Day 2020

Emphasizing the importance of energy storage as part of industrial progress and sustainable lives, the 4th World Energy Storage Day was celebrated on 22nd September. On this occasion, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), India’s leading alliance on energy storage & e-mobility organized a unique virtual Global Conference & Expo intending to bring together industry leaders, policymakers, academia, researchers, and professionals and deliberate upon the need for nurturing a global ecosystem for energy storage. The participants engaged over insightful discussions on four precarious aspects of the energy storage ecosystem, i.e., policy and government initiatives, stationary energy storage, e-mobility, and latest innovations and developments in the sector.

The energy storage market in Germany is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10 percent. Factors, such as the increasing share of renewables in the electricity generation mix, a decline in the cost of storage batteries and solar photovoltaic panels, supportive government policies like low-interest rates on loans, and investment grants on battery systems, are driving the Germany energy storage market. 

Reflecting on the future of energy storage in Germany, some of the eminent dignitaries and industry pioneers gathered at World Energy Storage Day (WESD) virtual Global Conference & Expo.

Dr. Andreas Hauer, Head - Energy Storage division, Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research, BVES

Germany is working on new research and ways to accelerate the adoption of new technologies to further strengthen the development of the energy storage ecosystem. Giving key insight into it, Dr. Andreas Hauer, Head - Energy Storage division, Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research, BVES believed that, “there are a couple of trends that are currently going on in the German energy storage sector. I specifically want to discuss one trend which is also an important aspect, i.e. flexible sector coupling by the implementation of energy storage. We have quite a high share of renewables in the sector. Though, there are sectors to this like the heating and cooling, e-mobility, feedstocks products, and chemicals as such. The idea of flexible sector coupling is we implement the energy storage at the borderline sector, paving way for using other energy storage technologies. The thermal and the mobility sector cause about 75 percent of CO2 emissions in the developed countries. In order to cut down on this emission, we really need to deal with the decarbonization sector.  There is a huge variety of different energy storage configurations and matching storage technology solutions for all kinds of applications in different countries for flexible sector coupling.”

Mr. Martin Zierer, Application Manager, Schaltbau GmbH

The universal demand for electric vehicles has augmented significantly in the recent years due to rapid innovations and development for future sustainable transportation, Martin Zierer, Application Manager, Schaltbau GmbH states that “the global demand for e-vehicles has increased considerably. Schaltbau GmbH believes in safety for man and machine. Founded in 1929, it one of the world’s leaders in DC (direct current) switching technology. Most new mobility concepts use electrical energy for the drive. When we charge e-vehicles, it’s a very basic schematic. There is a wide new field possibility to look into.”

Mr. John Zahuranick, Chief Operating Officer, Fluence Energy

Mr. John Zahuranick, Chief Operating Officer, Fluence Energy stated “It is the early procurement, the first wide-scale procurements that began to take place in California in 2013 and 2014, this was on such a long time-frame because these were substituting for the build-out of thermal power plants. So typically if you are building a thermal power plant the view is it's going to take you five years, and rather than building it out as a thermal power plant. Southern California Edison did an excellent job of laying out rules and processes and a system that allowed for one of the first true evaluations of the value and cost of storage relative to the value and cost of thermal generation and what it highlighted at that time was that energy storage is more effective for peaking and grid reliability overall.”

Now that we have moved into scaling energy storage projects, one of the keys next phase is how do we get more out of these systems? That comes from taking that rich data set, mining it, and bringing forward new usage, applications, optimization out of these controls in the digital platforms. We look forward to seeing a significant number of a large-scale project come on in 2021 this will create a continued momentum, he further added.

Mr. Chris King, Sr. Vice President, eMobility, Siemens

The electric vehicles and allied sector offer a huge opportunity for future electrification of transportation for ushering into a sustainable ecosystem which is environment-friendly. Speaking about Siemens and its contribution towards the same, Chris King, Sr. Vice President, eMobility, Siemens said, “Siemens is an engineering firm providing products and services for EV charging infrastructure. There is a huge economic benefit for switching to electric vehicles. The owners save a lot on fuel expenses. The revenue that one earns on being connected to the grid attracts up to $3500. There is a significant impact on the grid if the charging isn’t being managed. You need to have some mechanism to respond to signal from the e-vehicles if it isn’t charging. There is a need for data exchange. The chargers should be smart and the same must be promoted by the policymakers. EV and electric charging is a huge opportunity for smooth electrification of transportation.”

Mr. Brieux Boisdequin, Vice President- Automotive & Materials, BASF India

The chemical industry identifies battery materials as a critical component for the development and innovation in the electric vehicle space. Highlighting the criticality, Brieux Boisdequin, Vice President- Automotive & Materials, BASF India said that, “Advancement in electric mobility can only happen in conjunction with the advancement in energy storage. For us, and companies like us in the chemical industry the emphasis on battery materials is very critical, because about 30 percent of EV cost comes from the battery.”

India is a market where economics plays a very important role in buying decision-making and there needs to be innovation across the micro-level and macro-level to drive further the adoption of e-mobility by lowering the cost of EVs and making them more attractive, he further added.