Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeInnovationMaroš Šefčovič urges Europe to accelerate deployment of energy storage solutions

Maroš Šefčovič urges Europe to accelerate deployment of energy storage solutions

Speaking at the Energy Storage Global Conference 2022 organised by the European Association for Storage of Energy, Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič underlined how energy storage will play a key role in fighting current challenges.

He mentioned the increasing prices of energy, food and other basic commodities and supply chain disruptions triggered by Russia’s war against Ukraine. As energy prices are lower in Asia and the United States, Europe risks losing its competitiveness. Thus, for Mr Šefčovič, energy storage will help facilitate the integration of renewables and the electrification of the economy, while increasing the flexibility and security of the energy system.

“Storages will be critical to reducing energy prices by pushing expensive gas power plants out of the market during peak price hours,” he said. “Deployment of energy solutions in Europe must accelerate. Solutions in both the shorter term, like batteries and the longer term, like power to x, need to be exploited to make the most of the current global storage revolution.”

He recalled that the Commission has mobilised unprecedented funding for research on energy-storing technologies, whether mechanical, electrical, thermal or chemical. For example, when it comes to batteries, the BATT4EU Partnership, with the support of 925 million euros from our Horizon Europe programme, will contribute to establishing an innovation ecosystem to boost a competitive, sustainable and circular battery value chain in Europe.

“This funding will help the further improvement not only of existing technologies, like lithium-ion based batteries but also new kinds like sodium-ion and organic flow batteries,” he emphasised, adding that alongside adequate funding and the regulatory framework, we also need to ensure the right European ecosystems are in place to help the energy storage industry thrive.

“Boosting domestic manufacturing capacities along all key value chains is an absolute priority especially if Europe is to maintain its position as a global political and economic power,” Maroš Šefčovič pointed out.

Finally, he mentioned two challenges that we need to urgently address.

“First, we must strengthen the resilience of our entire critical raw materials value chain and break off Europe’s overdependence on imports – which are as high as 99 per cent for some materials,” he began. “Second, we should address the challenge posed by the skills agenda. We need to ensure enough skilled workers for our emerging industries, avoiding any dependence on foreign markets.”

Indeed, any shortage threatens to create a critical bottleneck further down the line and it is a real and measurable risk. And with the battery industry alone estimating that it will need an extra 800,000 workers by 2025, this will quickly become an issue for the entire European economy.

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