Global lithium ion battery market was worth $17.4 billion in 2017, and is expected to reach around $95 billion by 2025

Energy storage allows for flexibility in the timing of when energy is supplied and when it is used. Energy storage comes in a number of forms, including chemical, kinetic, thermal, gravitational potential, electromagnetic, electrochemical and osmotic potential. The choice of storage solution depends on location as well as reserve service required, since different technologies can provide different capacities and durations of storage. Storage of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels has been commonplace for centuries; as the low carbon transition requires integration of increasing intermittent renewable sources into the system, energy storage is becoming integral for reducing dependency on fossil fuels and achieving a flexible, resilient energy network. Strategic placement of storage also gives the potential to avoid otherwise necessary network upgrades and curtailment of expensive assets. Greater connectivity between different energy networks, i.e. interconnection across national grids, can allow for security of supply without needing additional generation capacity.

Energy storage has applications varying from small-scale local systems in homes or commercial buildings – which are becoming increasingly common alongside the rise of distributed generation – to utility-scale storage systems. Common examples of energy storage include batteries (mainly lithium-ion) which store electricity as chemical energy, pumped hydroelectric storage systems which store gravitational potential energy in elevated reservoirs, and ice storage tanks which store thermal energy by freezing water with cheaper energy at night to meet peak cooling demand in daytime. Surplus renewable electricity can also be used to produce energy carriers like hydrogen, enabling the storage of renewable energy for long periods. Electric vehicles can also function as storage systems, since electricity can be transferred both to and from the batteries of plugged-in vehicles when needed. With energy storage expected to play a greater role towards a low-carbon and sustainable energy future, various storage technologies must be evaluated to balance the trade-offs between life-cycle cost, efficiency, material sustainability and safety.

Read our Energy World articles on how energy storage fits into strategies for carbon reduction.

Learn more about storage by reading our Energy Insights.

Learn about recent public funding for research and development of energy storage on our policy milestone website.

What's new?

Predicting well-stimulation results in a gas-storage field in the absence of reservoir data with neural networks. S. Mohaghegh et al. SPE Reservoir Engng., November 1996, 11(4), 268--272.

Methodology is presented that is capable of forecasting the post fracture deliverability on the basis of historical data in Clinton sandstone gas-storage field without detailed reservoir data. Post fracture well deliverability was predicted with approximately 95% accuracy. The neural network develop...

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Electricity Storage Network Consultation Document 2014

This report demonstrates the need for electricity storage in the UK and how it can form a valuable part of our national electrical infrastructure. The intention is to select a specific recommendation, from the four proposals outlined in this document, that could be given to DECC, DETI and regulatory...

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Events and training

EI LIVE | Energy Efficiency: The Road to Net Zero

16-09-2020
Discover the latest approaches and strategies in energy efficiency that can help the UK reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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Aviation Jet Fuel - September 2020

29-09-2020
This 3-day training course will provide delegates with an overview of aviation jet fuel, focusing on the jet engine, its underlying principles and fuel requirements as well as the critical characteristics of jet fuel, including additives, Industry best practice adopted in the supply, handling and us...

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EI Live | Hazardous Area Classification - October 2020

12-10-2020
This 3-day training course will provide delegates with training on the Energy Institute Model Safe Code of Practice 15, Area Classification for Installations Handing Flammable Fluids. This internationally recognised publication provides methodologies for carrying out Hazardous Area Classification st...

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Aviation Jet Fuel - Dubai - October 2020

18-10-2020
This 2-day training course will provide delegates with an overview of aviation jet fuel, focusing on the jet engine, its underlying principles and fuel requirements as well as the critical characteristics of jet fuel, including additives, Industry best practice adopted in the supply, handling and us...

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Renewables: Health, Safety and Sustainability

4-11-2020
Early-bird rate expires 31 July - prices will increase by £50 on 1 August 2020Build renewables in a safe and sustainable way - ensure that your organisation has the necessary health, safety and sustainability practices in place.

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Technical guidance publications

Battery storage guidance note 2: Battery energy storage system fire planning and response

2020
This publication is free to download. Please log in to see the download option.This publication provides guidance on how to respond to BESS fires. It represents the 'current state' of knowledge (in 2019), but also identifies gaps in knowledge. The guidance covers primarily non-domestic battery insta...

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Guidance on the correct and safe handling of NOx reduction agent (AUS 32/AdBlue)

2020
This publication is free to download for registered users.This publication focuses on the installation of tank, pipe and pumping systems for the storage and dispensing of urea solutions (NOx reduction agent (AUS 32/AdBlue)) used in the treatment of diesel exhaust on vehicles.This document addresses ...

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Code of safe practice for contractors and retailers managing contractors working on filling stations

2020
This publication is intended for all contractors, subcontractors and self-employed persons who are required to carry out work on a filling station, and for retailers who are required to manage contractors whilst on their premises. It focuses on safety and good practice procedures whilst referencing ...

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Guidelines on detecting, controlling and mitigating microbial growth in oils and fuels used at power generation facilities

2020
This guidance document focuses on addressing operational problems from microbial growth in turbine, lubricating, transformer and other oils and diesel fuels at power stations. The consequences of microbial growth in oils include additive depletion, tank and pipe sludging, filter plugging, gauging pr...

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HM 93. A guide to manual sampling of hydrocarbon liquids

2020
Anyone involved in oil production, transportation, refining, storage or distribution will be aware of the importance of sampling and testing to ensure that crude oil and products meet the required specifications. This guide provides practical advice on sampling of hydrocarbon liquids across a wide r...

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