Renewable power is making strides in Europe. Britain is said to be the dark horse of the energy storage game right now, Germany ran on full renewable energy for a few hours and Portugal did a four-day stint on completely renewable energy. However, academics are poking holes in some of the plans that these governments might have as they move their countries to renewable energy. Researchers from the University of East Anglia in Norwich say that government subsidies need to be used to encourage investment in energy storage.
The pioneering study was conducted by Dr. Dimitris Zafirakis and Dr. Konstantinos have said that they don't think the market will be ready for the amount of storage that is going to be needed, due to the "volatility" of the market. More people joining the movement, more storage needed.
"We need sufficient storage and more investment in storage systems in order for renewable energy to reach its full potential. Subsidies would encourage investment, which in turn would enable further integration of renewables into the energy sector. The fact that for some days countries such as Germany and Portugal are running their entire electricity network exclusively on renewable energy shows how far we have come to rely on it as a power source and this will continue to increase," the researchers wrote in the report.
Building the correct infrastructure behind energy storage so that it thrives is what the researchers are hoping they can achieve by the publishing of their study. Making it profitable are also the concerns of the two researchers who concern themselves with business. However, engineers both have the chance to capitalize on energy storage by either working with the companies that work on energy storage, or become installers that can assist with speeding up the process of grid-balancing.
The Electric Power Research Insitute (EPRI) in the United States also realizes that more governmental assistance is needed in the solar industry so that the entire energy storage industry is interconnected and works together toward renewable power goals. In their report, they wrote:
"The smart grid will assure the consumers are provided with reliable, high-quality digital-grade power, increased electricity-related services and an improved environment. The smart grid will allow the benefits resulting from the rapid growth of renewable power generation and storage as well as the increased use of electric vehicles to become available to consumers. Without the development of the smart grid, the full value of a lot of individual technologies like electric vehicles, electric energy storage, demand response, distributed resources, and large central station renewables such as wind and solar will not be fully realized."