Energy storage is required to increase energy systems flexibility, sectors coupling, demand response and smart interoperability solutions. Storage technologies facilitate high penetration of intermittent renewable energy, enable energy efficiency technologies such as waste heat recovery, increase the efficiency of cold supply chains and in turn contribute to the ecologic transition.
Non critical raw materials (CRM)-based systems and processes integrated, life cycle driven technologies are needed, in order to develop low cost and competitive solutions. Particular attention will be paid to high round-trip efficiency, high energy density, stable and reliable solutions for mid to long term energy storage (from days to months), which represent the most needed services for flexible, sustainable and fully integrated energy systems.
This Challenge will support proposals from the following technologies and systems for stationary applications:
- mid/long term energy storage for power systems, with technologies such as metal air or redox flow batteries, power to heat to power, chemical bonds, electrochemical/chemical/thermal hybrid solutions, integration of energy carriers and ‘storage to X’ strategies; concepts for centralised or decentralised applications at grid, industrial or district scale level are included, excluding micro and small scale or single building solutions;
- mid/long term thermal energy storage (heating or cooling) at different temperature, such as building integrated and process systems integrated solutions, chemical looping or thermochemical storage, solar thermal energy harvesting and storage, combined storage of thermal and electrical energy as well as other energy vectors, storage systems integrated in cold chains and in industrial processes.
The proposals, through non CRM-based systems integrated, life-cycle and circular thinking driven approaches, should develop a proof of concept (PoC) or lab-scale validated innovative mid to long term storage for centralised or decentralised applications ranging from large to mid scale and excluding small micro scale such as single building solutions. The proposed technologies include, but are not limited to, the following:
- computational modelling and optimisation applied to materials, components and control (i.e. charging/discharging) for storage;
- heating/cooling storage through chemical and thermochemical technologies (adsorption, absorption, etc.) included their integration in buildings or industrial processes and for different temperature;
- integration of energy storage systems into multi-vector energy grids and existing infrastructures, or into industrial processes for waste energy recovery and industrial symbiosis including concepts to enable smart control;
- systems-integrated thermal energy storage technologies for industrial and building applications (i.e. energy storage combined to solar and geothermal energy conversion, to pumped heat technologies, or to combined cooling, heat and power generation);
- innovative concepts for hydrogen (H2) storage/compression combined with thermal energy management and storage.
Expected outcomes and impacts
This EIC Pathfinder Challenge aims at providing solutions that will optimise European energy storage and thus enable demand response strategies and capabilities to host higher penetration of intermittent renewable technologies. Proposed solutions with multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial approaches, looking for inspiration, ideas and knowledge in a broad range of disciplines are particularly welcome.
For more details, see the EIC Work Programme 2022 and Challenge Guide for this topic (available on call opening).