Energy Conversion and Storage
Energy storage, a key pillar of the energy transition
Energy storage will play a pivotal role in helping renewable energy reach its maximum potential. Tenerrdis has built a strong reputation in the field of energy storage technology, addressing both stationary storage and storage for heavy and light vehicles. The technologies concerned cover all carriers (chemical, gas, electricity, heat, etc.), all power scales, and all response dynamics (response times). Energy storage is, by nature, specific to each use case. Energy storage is complex in terms of technology, but also because multi-carrier energy systems are heavily dependent on conversion technologies.
Tenerrdis’ 2022 objectives
Tenerrdis aims to become France’s leading ecosystem for the design and optimization of stationary energy storage systems to drive the integration of renewables (all carriers) into the energy mix.
The cluster’s partnership agreement with Capenergies on this topic delivers additional value through joint planning of R&D and innovation projects and the sharing of experiences with projects and prototypes/demonstrator systems.
key challenges addressed by tenerrdis
Tenerrdis has identified three priorities for this Strategic Focus Area:
- 1. Right-sizing and fine-tuning operation of storage assets to maximize value and secure the business model, taking into account the unique features of the community served:
- Potential sources of renewables and proportion harnessed over time
- Type of consumption and consumption trends over time
- Current and future grids and, especially, interconnection of grids (electricity, gas, heat)
2. Developing the capacity to use wastewater treatment plants, not only with regard to the needs of the nuclear industry, but also with regard to variable renewables.
3. Identifying the criteria for optimal coupling of renewable energy production and hydrogen production.
THE AUVERGNE-RHÔNE-ALPES REGION, HOME TO A UNIQUE ECOSYSTEM
Whether it is at the European, national, or regional level, energy storage and, in particular, electricity storage, is recognized as one of the pillars of the energy transition. However, the emergence of substantial storage capacities on energy grids must overcome hurdles like the diversity and maturity of the technologies and the lack of modular production capabilities. Nevertheless, around the globe (United States, Australia), large-scale projects to validate technologies, lower production costs, and increase storage capacities are emerging.
Europe is still trying to find its way through the energy storage landscape. While the EU is financing numerous R&D projects, its position remains very conservative on grid operators owning storage assets. Large-scale rollout has not yet occurred in Europe, and policy and technology decisions are slow to come.
In mainland France, RTE’s Ringo project (a virtual-line concept) is targeting 100 MW of storage capacity on five sites by 2020, mainly using lithium-ion batteries. The nation’s man utility, EDF, has set out to develop 10 GW of storage worldwide by 2035. Also worth mentioning is the French government’s hydrogen strategy for the energy transition, which includes developing renewable energy storage capabilities.
While the first batteries to become available on the market are virtually all for primary frequency reserve power, market conditions are raising questions about existing storage systems’ (wastewater treatment plants and gas) business models. In areas that are not well-interconnected, storage units are a crucial complement to new renewable energy plants, where they can replace highly-polluting generators.
Auvergne-Rhône Alpes is the only region with the know-how and ecosystem to address all storage technologies: hydro, gas (hydrogen and syngas), and batteries, an area where the French Alternative Energies and Nuclear Energy Commission possesses advanced know-how.
The GrHyd demonstrator, which opened on June 11, 2018, is testing the injection of hydrogen made from renewable electricity into the natural gas grid and the production of hythane® (a blend of hydrogen and natural gas) for natural-gas-powered buses in Dunkirk, France.
The Jupiter 1000 project in Fos-sur-Mer, France, kicked off in 2017 and aims to transform surplus renewable electricity into green hydrogen and syngas for storage. A number of Tenerrdis members are involved in this project (CNR, RTE, GrtGaz, McPhy, Leroux & Lotz, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission).