To support the expansion of renewables, ensure the security of supply and achieve self-sufficiency, the European Union should increase investment in long-duration energy storage technologies, such as flow batteries, Flow Batteries Europe recommends.
According to the association, without a system that can save energy for low wind or cloudy days for a long time, the EU will always be dependent on fossil fuels and energy imports.
“Flow batteries are one of the key LDES and represent a cost-effective option. For example, a Tesla lithium-ion gigafactory produces 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year and costs 5 billion US dollars. Meanwhile, a flow battery gigafactory would cost less than half of a lithium-ion factory,” said Secretary-General of Flow Batteries Europe, Anthony Price.
The association informs that the curtailment of surplus renewable energy is both highly inefficient and extremely costly for the Union while flow batteries can fill long storage gaps and provide 10-12 hours of storage, with the possibility of reaching even more than 100 hours.
In addition, this technology can be produced with readily available, recyclable, low-cost materials, leading to independence from global supply chains and scalability.
“For flow batteries to reach the market at a large scale, we need a more favourable legal framework and more funding opportunities, as is the case in other parts of the world, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom”, urges the press-statement of the association.