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European Commission’s DG Energy Opens 30m € Framework Programme Call On Electricity Storage

On 10 December 2010, the European Commission’s DG Energy held an Information Day on Electricity Storage to announce a new Framework Programme 7 research call for 2011 on “Smart Energy Networks”. The topic of storage being critically interlinked with the wider vision on how to balance variable electricity supply, various Commission officials and stakeholders presented their views on how energy storage research fits within the wider energy policy of the EU and how storage could contribute to a more flexible electricity system. EURELECTRIC presented selected topics stemming from discussions being held as part of its Renewables Action Plan.

Jean-Marie Bemtgen from DG Energy introduced the workshop and gave additional information on both scope and available funds. He stressed that selected projects “shall demonstrate advanced and cost effective systems which would bridge the source availability and the power demand. The projects should be based on storage devices, flexible generation from renewable sources, ICT tools or grid management systems, alone or in combination.” Regardless of whether innovative aspects of projects concerned technology, tools or system integration, “they should improve the energy management addressing several functions to broaden the use of renewable power generation plants also in terms of power quality (security, improved grid interface, etc).”

Mr Bemtgen also stressed that the research call would focus on “storage systems (ideal range of 1 GWh) [which] may address large scale centralised renewable energy systems (e.g. large wind parks, etc) or larger systems based on distributed energy supply coupled with many smaller storage systems.” He further highlighted that the indicative amount of funds available is 30 m € and that the deadline for application is 7 April 2011 at 17.00 (Brussels local time). Reaching out to Commission officials and stakeholders to move towards a policy-oriented discussion, he concluded that in his view, “flexible, reliable and low cost energy balancing continues to be a barrier to deployment of most renewable energy technologies.”

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