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Overcoming barriers to expanding energy storage

The importance of energy storage cannot be overstated when considering the challenges of transitioning to a net-zero emissions world.

Storage technologies offer an effective means to provide flexibility, economic energy trading, and resilience, which in turn enables much of the progress we need to make in power generation and grid management. 

That’s why a staggering 89% of senior executives in DNV’s energy storage survey believe that rapidly expanding energy storage is indispensable to their country meeting its net-zero targets.  

All the core industries we surveyed – electrical power, renewables, oil and gas, and industrial energy consumers – expect to expand their interests and involvement in energy storage over the next three years.  

Overall, 40% say their organizations are actively researching and/or piloting energy storage opportunities. Just 15% currently own, and 14% are currently operating, large-scale energy storage assets. But this is expected to rise to 23% and 22% respectively in the next three years.  

An urgent need to remove barriers

While the potential impact and benefits of energy storage are undeniable, several barriers hinder faster adoption.  

For instance, many regulatory frameworks and electricity market structures still fail to adequately support and remunerate energy storage investors and service providers. 

In some regions, lengthy approval and integration processes hinder the deployment of new storage systems. Interconnection queues stretch out over 10 years in some markets.  

Some of the most pressing challenges in the energy storage landscape involve supply chain issues. In recent years, record demand for critical battery technology inputs, such as semiconductors, metals and lithium in particular, has led to shortages, delays, and rising prices. This have eased in the short-term, but bottlenecks and volatility are likely to return, especially if electric vehicles expand rapidly over the next 5-10 years, as forecasted.

Maximizing the technologies we have

Our research looks at the energy storage technologies and applications that are dominating today, and where innovation and development will take us next.  

However, we should underline the fact that remaining on the path to net-zero emissions is the most urgent and important priority we have.  

We already possess all the necessary tools and technologies we need to build the large-scale energy storage assets needed to enable a decarbonized energy system. New storage technologies will be important in the long-term, but today we just need greater coordination and collaboration to address the biggest barriers and ensure we drive forward without delay. 

Read our full research report – Closing the energy storage gap: Overcoming barriers in models, methods, and markets – for more findings from DNV’s energy storage research.

9/21/2023 9:00:00 AM

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Jason Goodhand

Jason Goodhand

Global Business Lead Storage