The head of the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) has acknowledged that the prospects for the technology are good, but regulations must keep pace if the sector is to flourish in the EU.

EASE Secretary General Patrick Clerens said the association was optimistic about the growth of the European energy storage market, with the technology ‘undoubtedly an essential component of a decarbonized energy system.

“However, in order to reach the energy storage capacity that will be needed to fulfill system needs, we need a forward-looking regulatory framework that recognizes the unique value and role of energy storage, while allowing for investment security and long-term contracts.”

He explained: “In the past, policymakers have been slow to recognize the role and benefits of energy storage for the energy transition. This is likely because energy storage technologies were considered too expensive and perhaps also because they were not so well understood. Now, this is beginning to change. Renewables deployment is increasing, leading to a higher need to carbon-neutral flexibility services.”

Clerens added that experts are predicting continuous cost declines for many storage technologies, so policymakers are beginning to recognize the immense value of energy storage and are looking to build more supportive regulatory frameworks to allow for the market to develop.

“While our activities are focused at the EU Institutions level, we are always looking to countries’ storage policies to learn from missteps and identify best practices. For example, we are closely following developments in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, where policymakers are looking at ways to incentivize flexibility options including storage.”

“For example, system constraints are leading to the development of new ancillary services, such as Enhanced Frequency Response, that can be provided by energy storage devices.”