World Bank partnership to develop energy storage technology
June 4, 2019
A global partnership convened by the World Bank Group aims to foster international cooperation to adapt and develop energy storage technology for developing countries.
The partnership has been established to help expand the deployment of energy storage and bring new technologies to developing countries’ power systems. The Energy Storage Partnership (ESP) comprises the World Bank Group and 29 organisations working together to help develop energy storage tailored to the needs of developing countries.
Energy transitions are underway in many countries with a significant increase in the use of wind and solar power. To integrate these variable renewable resources into grids at the scale necessary to mitigate climate change, energy storage will be key. The increased use of wind and solar power with storage can help decarbonise power systems, expand energy access, improve grid reliability and increase energy systems’ resilience.
The requirements of developing countries’ grids are not yet fully considered in the current energy storage market, even though these countries may have the largest potential for battery deployment. The current battery market is driven by the electric vehicle industry and most mainstream technologies cannot provide long duration storage or withstand harsh climatic conditions and low operation and maintenance capacity.
“The fast growth we’re seeing in the electric vehicle market is exactly what we need for energy storage in power systems around the world,” said Riccardo Puliti, senior director at World Bank. “We want to see batteries connected to the grid, serving mini-grids, and enabling much more use of renewable power from the sun and wind. This is why we are convening the Energy Storage Partnership and we are honoured to work with the partners who have joined this initiative. We’re looking forward to having more partners join the effort.”
There is a need to catalyse a new market for batteries and other energy storage technology that are suitable for electricity grids for a variety of grid and off-grid applications and deployable on a large scale. To enable the rapid uptake of variable renewable energy in developing countries, the WBG is convening the ESP to foster international cooperation on:
- Technology research, development, demonstrations and applications
- System integration and planning tools
- Policies, regulations and procurement
- Enabling systems for management and sustainability
The ESP says it will take a holistic, technology-neutral approach by including all forms of energy storage, including batteries. It aims to help expand the global market for energy storage, leading to technology improvements and accelerating cost reductions over time.
“Mission Innovation was born out of a global commitment to accelerate clean energy innovation, to make clean energy widely affordable and accessible,” said Frank Des Rosiers, chair of the Mission Innovation steering committee. “We recognise that this cannot be done by Mission Innovation alone and that we need strong partnerships with organisations like the World Bank to be successful. This Energy Storage Partnership with the World Bank aligns with a key innovation opportunity that Mission Innovation members have identified through our Smart Grid Innovation Challenge.”
The ESP will be hosted at the World Bank’s ESMAP energy sector management assistance programme and will be developed and implemented in partnership with other organisations. The ESP will complement the WBG’s $1bn battery storage investment programme announced in September 2018 to scale up support to battery storage projects and raise an additional $1bn in concessional finance.
“Power systems are undergoing rapid change,” said Christian Zinglersen, head of secretariat for Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). “Policy makers and regulators need to actively identify options to increase the flexibility of power systems in their jurisdictions, this not least to accommodate the integration of increasingly larger shares of intermittent renewable generation and distributed energy resources. This is the focus of several areas of CEM work where storage is an area of increasing interest among CEM governments and other partners. Policy and regulatory design will remain key in order for storage-based solutions to contribute cost efficiently to the needs of a changing power mix. Hence, partnerships such as this targeting real-world, deployable solutions are very valuable.”