Deutsche Version  ACT
Overarching Themes
Study 31.3.2016

Methodology and planned project procedure
© FfE e. V.

Energy Storage Systems in 2030

Which system infrastructure is most economic for the supply system? What will be the storage requirement in 2030? These questions addressed by scientists in the Merit Order study. For this purpose they recorded the characteristic values of possible storage technologies and distinguished them in regional terms.

Project status study completed
Project duration September 2012 until February 2016

Whithin the scope of this research project, a number of sub-projects with industry partners will be conducted in order to quantify the load-shifting-potentials of different load control measures. The potential of the storage systems, where no explicity analysis was performed, estimated in a meta-study. The costs for the functional storage capacities determined by the researchers based on energy balance sheets. Based on these findings for conventional storage systems they created as well as load control measures different merit orders of energy storage systems for the year 2030.

Technical possibilities to enhance the flexibility

The creation of an economically feasible energy infrastructure that allows for a high share of fluctuating renewable energy resources evokes many questions . Two of the main questions are:

  1. Under the given circumstances, what type of system infrastructure is the most cost-efficient?
  2. How should the market be designed such that the cost efficient infrastructure is also attractive from the business perspective?

The research project "Merit Order for Energy Storage Systems 2030" addressed these key questions while taking into account all technical possibilities that can be used to enhance the flexibility of the supply system. This includes power plants, electricity networks, energy storages and consumers.

Data, demand for storage systems and infrastructure

In the first year it was intended to record possible characteristic values consistently. The storage possibilities was regionalised in the second year. The storage requirement was determined in the third year with the identification of an economically viable storage infrastructure taking power plant and grid scenarios into account. There will be a discussion of the necessary market arrangements so as to also enable an economically viable storage infrastructure from the business management point of view. In the last year of the project the researchers identified differences between a welfare and business based storage infrastructure.

Timing and balancing of demand and supply integrated renewable energy

Historically, the average distance between the consumer and the closest electricity supplier totalled to about 80 kilometers, with a relatively low spread amongst the individual distances. Today, this spatial separation ranges from zero kilometers (e. g. photovoltaic self-suppliers) to several hundred kilometers, when wind power has to be transferred from the north of Germany into the middle or south of Germany. Consequently, the electricity network is being confronted with a number of load situations for which it was not designed, leading to an increasing number of network constraints.
To resolve such contraints, a portfolio of measures was developed. Such measures will help to avoid the temporal shut-down of renewable electricity generation and the reduction of ouput of conventional power plants.

These measures include on the one hand the rapid expansion of the electricity network and the timing and balancing of demand and supply apart from traditional energy storage systems, the timing and balancing of demand and supply can be achieved by a number other measures:

  • Flexible load management in the sectors industry, retail and commerce & service
  • Flexible load management in private households
  • Electric vehicles (vehicle-to-grid)
  • Implementation of heat storage systems in CHP
  • Power-2-heat: e. g. supply of heat by electrical heating facilities)
  • Power-2-gas: e.g. hydrogen electrolysis

The study funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Further funding is provided by 13 industrial partners which represent the sectors energy supply, energy transmission and automobile production. The project was carried out by the FfE e.V. Munich, the time frame was September 2012 to February 2016.

Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag


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Research funding

The information system EnArgus provides information on research funding, including on this project (German only).