Winter warmer: EU project to investigate renewable power storage
From electric cars to electric heating, buildings’ use of power is growing.
While replacing fossil fuels with renewable electricity is great news for the climate, it also means ‘peak demand’ – usually at the beginning and end of the day – could go sky high. This would have serious ramifications for the environment because it requires additional power plant capacity which may result in increased air pollution. But it has consequences also for people’s bills, since peaks times are when the power price is highest.
To avoid this, electricity use needs to be spread out throughout the day. And ideally, when there is more, cheaper renewable electricity available, it would be stored. Yet right now, technologies for storing renewables are scarce and costly.
The new EU-funded project BEST-Storage, which kicked off on 1 January 2023, will help reduce and shift peak load. It will do this by developing thermo-chemical and loss-free storage technology seasonal power storage. The thermo-chemical materials are a promising solution for seasonal heat storage providing the possibility for example to store excess solar energy from the warm season ffor later use during the cold season. This will therefore save energy and energy cost!
The project involves 12 partners from all over Europe, who will develop long and short-term storage solutions in four demo cases, in Estonia, Greece, Spain and Switzerland. These will be what’s called ‘high-energy density’, meaning they pack a lot of energy into a small space.
The aim of the BEST-Storage project is to end up with storage technology which can be used rapidly throughout the EU.
The project, which will run for four years, is coordinated by the Spanish company Solintel M&P SL . The 12 project partners, who come from seven different countries, represent everything from design to manufacturing and research, bringing a wide range of expertise.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101096516.