In recent years, the energy sector has experienced a significant shift towards clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. However, as these technologies become more widespread, there is an equally important need to develop energy storage solutions to complement them. Energy storage allows the energy generated by renewable sources to be used at times of peak demand and reduces the need to resort to more polluting energy sources. In this post, issued in collaboration with scouting platform Linknovate, we will focus on energy storage technology, specifically lithium-ion batteries, and how smart grids can improve power system efficiency by integrating renewable sources and energy storage systems.

Energy storage

With wind and solar now established as the most cost-effective and easily deployed forms of new power generation, energy storage is increasingly needed. Although the variety of energy storage technologies is expanding, proven and established lithium-ion battery systems appear to dominate the market for the foreseeable future.

Lithium-ion battery systems have experienced rapid adoption in the energy market due to their high energy density, long life and ability to retain a stable charge. In addition, they are less expensive compared to other energy storage technologies and are easy to manufacture on a large scale.

Although there are other types of energy storage technologies, such as hydroelectric storage, flow batteries, and sodium batteries, lithium-ion battery systems are expected to maintain their dominance in the market due to their ability to meet a wide range of applications, from portable devices to large-scale energy storage systems.

Leading companies in the field of Energy Storage:

Alpha ESS is a China-based company that has been operating globally since 2012, focused on providing energy storage solutions based on lithium battery technologies for residential and commercial markets. The company has a production capacity of 1 GWh per year.

Fraunhofer IZM, German Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, coordinates the MATFLEXEND project, which focuses on researching and developing innovative energy harvesting systems characterized by their flexibility and durability. These materials can be processed into inks for printing applications, which would enable the mass production of devices that will change mechanical energy into electrical energy and store that energy, from wearable devices to remote sensors and infrastructure monitoring systems.

ElectrIQ Power is a company that provides smart energy storage and management solutions for homes and businesses throughout the United States. Their solutions are available in combination with rooftop solar panels and are offered through a unique market approach that allows them to offer low-cost solutions to all of their customers.

Smart Grid

A smart grid is a modernized electrical grid that uses digital communication technology to optimize energy distribution, a sector led by the US, China, and Germany, as shown below.

By incorporating renewable energy sources and energy storage systems, smart grids can improve grid efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It refers to an electricity distribution network that operates in a smart, bi-directional manner, allowing homes and businesses to produce electricity rather than just consume it. These grids combine modern information technologies to provide data to electricity distribution companies and consumers, benefiting both parties.

Leading companies in the Smart Grid field:

Octopus Energy develops a cloud-based smart grid platform and delivers fair-forever pricing and greener energy from the UK’s largest investor in solar generation. It employs innovative data-driven platforms and artificial intelligence to balance loads on the grid.

SparkMeter offers complete, low-cost metering systems ranging from rural microgrids to central utilities in urban areas. Its simple plug-and-play solution enables microgrids and distribution utilities to improve operations and achieve financial stability through a variety of features, including flexible billing, customer communications, and remote monitoring and control.

Eliq is a company that enables energy providers to build digital energy products that customers enjoy and that foster strong, long-lasting customer relationships. Through analyzing billions of energy data points, its machine learning platform extracts valuable insights that enable an entirely new customer experience in energy. One that puts the customer in control of their energy consumption and inspires them to participate in the energy transition.

Learn more about the rise of clean technologies and their contribution to achieving climate goals at DES- Digital Enterprise Show 2023, Europe’s largest event on digital transformation and exponential technologies, from 13-15 June.
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