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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?

West Africa’s first LNG storage and regasification plant

20-08-2019
The 14,000 cm Akonikien LNG storage and regasification plant, the first such facility in West Africa, was inaugurated in August 2019.The project is part of Equatorial Guinea’s LNG2AFRICA initiative that seeks to develop small-scale LNG projects to supply African gas to African countries and regions ...

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Historic pumped storage plant receives £200mn upgrade

19-07-2019
Technology group Voith is to design, fabricate, install and commission a replacement facility at the Ritom pumped storage power plant in Switzerland. The original plant at Ritom dates back to 1920 – the illustration shows an impression of the new plant.The four Pelton turbines currently in use , wit...

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Flexible power purchasing with storage

1-07-2019
How about buying renewables and operating your own energy storage facility? Here, Scott McGregor suggests that businesses can navigate volatile energy markets with innovative power purchase strategies.

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European consortium launches new carbon capture and storage project

8-06-2019
A consortium of 11 European stakeholders, including ArcelorMittal, Axens, IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) and Total, has announced plans for a new industrial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project.The €20mn DMX Demonstration in Dunkirk (3D) project, which is part of the Horizon 2020 EU research and...

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N Cranenburgh, Better storage might give hydrogen the edge as renewable car fuel, Energy, 29 May 2019

29-05-2019
In UK, a breakthrough has occurred with hydrogen storage by means of a low-cost molecular sieve. In view of the low density, and thus energy density, of hydrogen, vehicle fuel tanks must be designed for large volumes, and arranged to contain the fuel either as pressurised gas, or as cryogenic liquid...

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Events and training

NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil and Gas Operational Safety

9-09-2019
This NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil & Gas Operational Safety training will provide students with an industry recognised qualification for individuals with safety responsibilities in the oil and gas industry. The course is available as a 5-day classroom course, E-Learning and I...

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Oil & Gas Fundamentals Awareness - September 2019

24-09-2019
This 2-day course provides an introduction to the oil & gas industry. Delegates will learn about the key sectors of the oil and gas industry from exploration through to fuel retailing. The course comprehensively covers all aspects of the industry value chain including formation of oil & gas,...

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Aviation jet fuel

1-10-2019
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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Integrated Waste Management

8-10-2019
Visit the Nuclear Institute website for more information and to book.

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Hazardous Area Classification - October 2019

14-10-2019
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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Technical guidance publications

IP 618: Determination of cold filter blocking tendency

2020
This standard specifies a method for the determination of the cold filter blocking tendency (CFBT) and cold filterability of middle distillate fuel oils containing biodiesel from 0 % to 20 %, at temperatures between ambient and -5 °C where the end use demands an exceptional degree of cleanliness...

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EI/JIG Standard 1530 Quality assurance requirements for the manufacture, storage and distribution of aviation fuel to airports (A4)

2019
Jointly published by the EI and JIG (Joint Inspection Group).EI/JIG 1530 provides a Standard to assist all parties in the maintenance of aviation fuel quality, from its point of manufacture through to delivery to airports. The Standard includes industry-accepted mandatory provisions and good practic...

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EI/JIG Standard 1530 Quality assurance requirements for the manufacture, storage and distribution of aviation fuel to airports (A5)

2019
Jointly published by the EI and JIG (Joint Inspection Group).EI/JIG 1530 provides a Standard to assist all parties in the maintenance of aviation fuel quality, from its point of manufacture through to delivery to airports. The Standard includes industry-accepted mandatory provisions and good practic...

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G+/DROPS Reliable securing booklet for offshore wind

2019
Free to download. For more information on the G+ visit www.gplusoffshorewind.comThis document is an adaptation of selected DROPS Reliable securing, Best practice recommendations for the securing of structure and equipment at the worksite content to provide guidance and functional recommend...

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Guidance on managing process safety in decommissioning projects

2019
This publication is intended to provide guidance on managing process safety within decommissioning projects generally within the energy sector, with more specific guidance and information provided, where possible, in the following industry sectors:offshore oil and gas;onshore oil and gas and petroch...

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