Currently, the supply and demand of electricity are kept in balance primarily by controllable fossil-fuel power plants. In the course of the energy transition, the entire energy demand is to be switched to renewable energy sources, thus drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Enough renewable energy is available: on the area of Germany alone, as much solar energy falls annually as is consumed worldwide. However, unlike fossil fuel power plants, renewable sources are more unreliable, subject to external factors and seasonal and diurnal fluctuations.
WHY IS BATTERY STORAGE SO IMPORTANT?
Storage can smooth out these fluctuations and allow supply and demand to be matched. Available green power is temporarily stored when wind and solar provide too much energy and released when more power is consumed than generated. Only storage makes renewable energy controllable for the grid. Too much or too little energy changes the frequency of the grid and causes instability, in extreme cases leading to blackouts. The higher the fluctuations in production, the higher the risk of frequency fluctuations. Storage facilities can smooth out these fluctuations quickly and in line with demand by taking in or releasing energy as needed. Currently, pumped storage power plants are Germany’s most important storage technology in terms of available capacity. However, these are neither quickly scalable nor does the storage potential due to the topology cover the demand.
Battery storage plants offer a simple, quickly scalable and flexibly adaptable way to build up the required storage capacity. In order to reduce dependencies on energy imports as much as possible, decentralized electricity storage facilities must be built throughout Germany that respond to domestic production as needed. Decentralized electricity storage facilities can compensate for load differences locally and nationally, thus securing supplies to consumers.
ENERGY TURNAROUND – A QUESTION OF COST
The energy turnaround needs the support and acceptance of society. For ecologically sound technologies to catch on quickly, they must also be affordable for everyone. To secure the supply and balance out fluctuations, it must make economic sense to store green electricity and withdraw it when needed. To do this, the storage costs of battery storage systems must continue to fall.
Hydrogen is a chemical form of energy storage. To make energy usable in the form of hydrogen, water must first be divided into hydrogen and oxygen using surplus electricity, i.e., electricity that is not directly consumed. Only after repeated conversion can the stored energy be used in the form of electricity. Because of these efficiency losses, it will only be used where green electricity cannot be used directly or fuel is essential to an industrial process.
The most favorable path for the energy transition is a balanced technology mix. For this, the expansion of wind and solar must be favored and heating, transport and industry must be electrified. To secure the supply, decentralized large and small storage facilities will be installed to balance electrical loads and distribute them throughout the country. Hydrogen will be used where electricity alone is not sufficient.
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AXSOL’s solutions are based on the safest current lithium-based battery technology, lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), and are adaptable to new battery technologies.
AXSOL Energy Container Solutions (ECS) provide a scalable platform for large-scale battery storage to secure power flow, frequency and supply. By interconnecting multiple ECSs, battery storage can be built for grid connection optimization of wind and solar farms, provision of balancing power or for grid stabilization. In addition, the platform enables self-consumption optimization and uninterruptible power supply for large consumers such as industry.