Batteries have a number of added advantages both for end-users and the electricity utility industry in energy storage.
- Batteries can be used to store electricity at times of peak production, acting as a primary reserve power. This energy can be used at a later stage when demand for electricity is high, thus avoiding wastage of energy at times when it is not required by having CO2 producing generators always online.
- Batteries can also be used in a reserve capacity, capable of supplying energy should normal electricity supply resources become unavailable.
- Batteries can be used to improve power quality and safety. They can absorb or compensate for electrical anomalies and disturbances on an electrical grid, such as voltage sags or sub-synchronous resonance, to support transmission and improve grid performance and stability.
Batteries represent the available solution to energy storage in a wide number of applications, from vehicles to Renewable Energy Systems. They are used in numerous industrial tasks, mainly related to assuring energy supply in case of mains failure (uninterruptible power supply or UPS; telecommunications), as well as in strategic defence applications.
The EU’s 20-20-20 strategy plans for a 20% drop in CO2 emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency and an increase of the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2020. The European battery industry has a clear role to play in the latter. Due to the fact that many renewable energy sources, such as tidal, solar and wind-generated power, only produce electricity intermittently, there needs to be a method for storing this energy at times of high production for later use. Batteries can fill this key role and help ensure a cleaner environment. European batteries have been used around the world in this capacity, helping communities to change from fossil-based electricity generating methods to renewable energy.
The ability to continue or further increase research and deployment of new technologies in energy solutions and storage is highly dependent on a strong research, development and manufacturing base for batteries in Europe, which in turn supports the competitiveness of wider industrial sectors with real benefits to European employees and consumers.