In the transition to a sustainable energy system, flexibility is becoming increasingly important. This is because energy generation from the sun and wind is highly dependent on weather conditions. In contrast to the burning of fossil fuels, in a sustainable system you do not know exactly when the biggest part of the production will take place. At the same time, the demand for energy has certain peak moments, for example when it is cold and the heating needs to be switched on, or when the lights go on in the evening.
Balancing supply and demand
So energy supply and demand are not always in balance. At this moment, large stocks of coals and gas are needed as a buffer for the moment that demand exceeds supply. On the other hand, solar and wind farms are now sometimes shut down when there is so much production that the electricity grid cannot cope. Due to the rapid growth in both electricity supply and demand, we see this situation increasingly more often, with major consequences for the energy transition and our economic growth.
Energy storage as a solution
Energy storage offers solutions to overcome this unpredictability for the short and long term. Short-term storage with batteries, for example, can balance the electricity grid. Large-scale storage of heat or molecules can help bridge seasonal demand in winter, when overall energy demand is greater. The development of new and improved storage methods is thus of great importance for a sustainable and reliable energy system.
Energy Storage NL
Energy Storage NL represents the Dutch energy storage industry and stimulates the development of technological solutions for storing energy in all forms. In doing so, we are working towards a sustainable and reliable system in which energy demand can always be fulfilled.
There are many ways to store energy, including in electrons (e.g., batteries), molecules (e.g., hydrogen or ammonia storage), or heat (e.g., a heat buffer).
But also in specific forms such as chemical or electrochemical storage, mechanical storage, hydropower, supercapacitors and others. Each type of storage is useful for a specific situation or time period and again requires its own techniques.
Energy storage technologies are developing rapidly, particularly in terms of business cases and technical performance. Dutch companies, knowledge institutes, governments and funders are well positioned to realize a sustainable and stable energy system with innovative storage and conversion technologies.