Forecasting | Short-term PV forecasting offers a multitude of benefits, from trading on wholesale power markets to improved plant operation. Sara Verbruggen reports on some of new the technologies driving forward improvements in the accuracy of forecasting techniques.
This special supplement on energy storage looks at a global market which has already come a long way and shows no sign of looking back. From residential to grid-scale, to microgrids and vehicle-to-grid, from safety to finance, we’ve condensed some of the biggest topics and themes into a handy collection which we hope will help illuminate and inform you all. Energy storage is growing into a cornerstone of the grid (and is arguably even more important off-grid); a vital component of decentralised, decarbonised and even digitalised future energy systems. Yet so many misconceptions and concerns remain and there is still so much work to be done in helping stakeholders gain a better understanding of what batteries – and other forms of energy storage – can do.
Battery storage | Lithium-ion batteries are becoming a popular choice stationary storage systems but so far lack any consistent standards governing safety and performance. Matthias Vetter and Stephan Lux from Fraunhofer ISE report on two major research projects that could pave the way for new safety standards for li-ion batteries.
The UK government and energy regulator recently outlined initial proposals for overhauling the country’s energy system. Andy Colthorpe speaks to Anthony Price, director of the Electricity Storage Network trade group, about how the long-awaited document has been received and the key role it envisages for storage.
The potential for storage to help stabilise the grid has finally been recognised in the UK, where battery projects took all of the 200MW on offer in a recent frequency response tender. David Pickup looks at the evolving role of storage in the future grid and how further policy support can help it flourish.
A poor understanding of how European PV arrays perform in Saharan dust outbreaks can have a crippling financial impact on grid operators. Christian Kurz and Lucas Richter of meteocontrol describe a major new research project underway in Germany to improve the forecasting of dust outbreaks and their impact on PV power output.
The technology and financing of the remote microgrid market are maturing. Now improved sales and marketing methods are needed to commercialise the huge potential on offer in this burgeoning market segment.
Energy storage in the US is being propelled forward by falling costs and increasingly favourable markets and policy. But for the full value of storage to be realised, numerous regulatory and fiscal barriers must still be surmounted, writes Matt Roberts.
Rising levels of PV penetration mean increasingly sophisticated forecasting technologies are needed to maintain grid stability and maximise the economic value of PV systems. The Grid Integration working group of the European Technology and Innovation Platform – Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) shares the results of its ongoing research into the advantages and limitations of current forecasting technologies.
The combination of rapidly evolving technologies and the trend towards decentralisation is demanding increasingly sophisticated commercial models. Simon Göß looks at some of the emerging solutions and considers the place of blockchain technology in tomorrow’s energy system.
Deploying battery storage at grid level is relatively uncharted territory, but a number of pioneers projects are now in the ground. Patrick Leslie and colleagues at RES, which built some of the first wave of storage projects, teases out the key technology, finance and regulatory lessons the industry can learn from these early experiences.
One of the claims made about large-scale storage coupled with solar is that it is difficult to justify from a business-case perspective. But evidence is already emerging from early projects that if done right, intelligent battery solutions are already competitive.
Plant control | SCADA technology enables PV plant owners to maintain their portfolios more efficiently and respond to increasingly stringent requirements from grid operators, yet avoid information overload. Sara Ver-Bruggen looks at the state of the art in SCADA systems as PV systems and fleets grow in size.
Grid investment | An ambitious plan is being drawn up to overhaul New York’s electric grid infrastructure, an exercise that some have priced at US$30 billion. Andy Colthorpe looks at the efforts underway to ensure renewables and energy storage are a central part of bringing the state’s power system into the modern age.
Off grid | Reducing the reliance on costly diesel-based power generation is high on the list of priorities for off-grid operators around the world. PV-hybrid systems alone can only go so far in meeting this need. The addition of storage can significantly alter this picture by increasing fuel savings and offsetting additional investment. Increasingly sound economics are already convincing circumspect off-grid operators such as mine owners who are starting to build the first large installations.