Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The high penetration rates of variable renewable energy resources entail the need for large scale energy storage to balance the production and consumption of high quantities of electricity and during longer time periods. Demonstration activities in this topic will aim to progress large scale energy storage and reduce the barriers associated with new storage concepts. An important market uptake challenge is to reduce the barriers (technological, economic, regulatory, environmental, social and other acceptance, etc.) associated with the deployment of existing or new storage concepts.

Scope: Activities should focus on storage systems that reached already TRL 5 and bring them to TRL 6-7 (please see part G of the General Annexes). This would include anticipation of potential market and regulatory issues with due consideration to the environmental and socioeconomic aspects and improved models to demonstrate energy storage systems.

Activities should pursue direct electricity or indirect storage (electricity with other energy vectors). The activities must address the interfaces for integrating storage in grid management. Where appropriate, synergies between electricity grid, other energy grids, storage and final energy use must be taken into account.

Integrated Power to Gas concepts allowing electricity storage through the production of synthetic gas to be stored in the gas grid in the form of synthetic/green methane are eligible. Electrolysis proposals and proposals with pure hydrogen injection in the natural gas grid are not in the scope of this activity; they should be submitted to the Hydrogen/fuel cells joint undertaking.

The priorities are demonstration and validation of:

-       pumped hydro storage in new locations such as underground storage concepts, storage using seawater or similar concepts addressing large scale applications aiming at GWh scale;

-       storage with compressed air, liquid air, and similar concepts aiming at the large scale (ideally > 100 MWh scale if appropriate);

-       retrofitting of existing hydro dams with pumped hydro or other storage to enable flexible operation, large scale balancing and storage, while applying environmentally friendly design and operation;

-       integrated management of existing or retrofitted pumped hydro storage (with variable speed pumps/turbines) also across national borders (e.g. smart grid concepts across alpine (or other) borders and enclosing many existing facilities);

-       linking such storage projects with the development of the Northern Seas, Mediterranean ring and other Trans-European grid infrastructure concepts may be envisaged.

Demonstration proposals should include market uptake measures for integrating energy storage in the electricity network and power system management. They shall focus on a limited set of specific issues that currently prevent an up-scaling or the realization of the concept. They should also include research on environmental, economic, legal, societal and public acceptance issues and recommendations for future energy policy by the industrial stakeholders involved. These results should be compared with the results of research oriented projects on the same or similar topics.

All projects will have to perform a detailed cost-benefit analysis and operational optimization of storage.

Organising targeted practice-oriented education and training activities at the project's pilot or demonstration facilities is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 16 to 20 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: The proposals are expected to cover the general impacts listed below that are relevant for the proposed demonstration:

  • A wider use of storage technologies in the energy system through validation of solutions with reduced cost, increased efficiencies, and lower environmental impact.

  • Provision of services for increased renewable energy integration, resulting, among others, in a  reduced need for curtailment of wind, solar and other variable renewable energy resources

  • Deferred investment for transmission grid reinforcements and lower societal costs associated with high penetration of variable renewable energy resources

  • Integration with ICT tools for the control and management of electricity networks.

The impacts are expected to be linked to either energy balancing or improved grid congestion management at transmission level.

Type of action: Innovation Actions


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