Cloudbusting

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.

The Global Energy Storage Opportunity

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.

Storage systems for renewable energy under scrutiny

By Dr Matthias Vetter, Dr Matthias Vetter is head of the department of electrical energy storage at Fraunhofer ISE. He is an electrical engineer of 19 years’ experience, having undertaken his PhD thesis in the field of modelling and development of control strategies for fuel cell systems. Among other topics, his work focuses on autonomous systems and mini-grids, decentralised grid-connected PV battery systems, development of battery systems for stationary and automotive applications; Stephan Lux, Stephan Lux serves as head of the battery modules and systems team at the Fraunhofer ISE in Germany. He received his degree in communication technology from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg in 1994 and his degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hagen in 2008.

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.

Storage up Front: Storage takes the lead in UK market reforms

By Andy Colthorpe, Editor, Energy Storage News

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.

Large-scale Storage Gains Toehold in the UK

By David Pickup, Solar Trade Association

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.

Getting a Grip on Saharan Dust

By Christian Kurz and Lucas Richter, Meteocontrol

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.

Microgrids on the Cusp: The maturing market for remote microgrids

By Dr. Thomas Hillig, Founder of THEnergy

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.

The rise and rise of US storage

By Matt Roberts, Executive director, Energy Storage Association

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.

The case for better PV forecasting

By Dr Pierre-Jean Alet; Dr Venizelos Efthymiou; Dr Giorgio Graditi; Dr Mari Juel; Franko Nemac; Marco Pierro; Dr Evangelos Rikos; Dr Stathis Tselepis; Dr Guangya Yang; David Moser; Dr Norbert Henze

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.

Business models for PV in a digitised and decentralised energy market

By Simon Göß, consultant for Energy Brainpool specialising in energy trading and power market design

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.

Five lessons from the storage frontline

By Patrick Leslie, Andy Oliver & John Prendergast, Renewable Energy Systems (RES)

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.

The revolution has already begun

By James P. McDougall

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.

Big data for big solar

By Sara Ver-Bruggen, Freelance Journalist

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.

Evolution or revolution: New York’s grid transformed

By Andy Colthorpe , Reporter

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: When hybrid plus storage makes sense

By Florian Mayr, Principal at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory; Martin Bart, Vice President Engineering, OneShore Energy GmbH; Philipp Kunze, Co-founder and Managing Director, OneShore Energy GmbH

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.