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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?

Financial support for Scottish hydrogen storage study

1-10-2019
Geoscientists from the University of Edinburgh have received funding from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) for a £1.4mn research project to investigate the storage of hydrogen in the subsurface. The project, HyStorPor (Hydrogen Storage in Porous Media), is designed to in...

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Asia set to drive global newbuild liquids storage capacity

5-09-2019
Asia is expected to drive capacity growth in the global liquids storage industry from planned and announced (newbuild) projects by contributing around 43% of the global newbuild liquids storage terminals’ capacity during the outlook period 2019 to 2023, says GlobalData.According to the company’s lat...

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European cooperation on carbon capture and storage

5-09-2019
Equinor has, on behalf of the partners of the Northern Lights project, signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with seven European companies to develop value chains in carbon capture and storage (CCS).Equinor, in cooperation with its partners Shell and Total, is studying the possibilities for devel...

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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 Swiss 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, with...

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Events and training

Affordable and replicable low carbon housing in Wales

9-12-2019
<p>Ester Coma Bassas and Manos Perisoglou from the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University will talk about research that is being carried out to plan, design and demonstrate an energy systems based approach combining affordable and replicable energy demand, energy storage and renewa...

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Aviation Jet Fuel - Middle East - March 2020

30-03-2020
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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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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Hazardous Area Classification - October 2020

12-10-2020
This 2-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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Oil and Gas Industry Fundamentals - Intensive - December 2020

2-12-2020
This intensive 3-day course is a leading course presented by an industry expert and practitioner. Delegates will cover the key sectors of the oil and gas industry from exploration through to fuel retailing. 

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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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Battery storage guidance note 1: Battery storage planning

2019
This publication is free to download. Please log in to see the download option.Battery storage is expected to play an important role in the energy transition, allowing the storage of electrical energy from renewables for later use, and helping to balance grid load. This publication provides guidance...

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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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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 1538 Handling of fuel system icing inhibitor and aviation fuel containing fuel system icing inhibitor at airports

2019
This publication is available to download for free by registering/logging in to this site.This publication provides industry recommended practices for the handling of fuel system icing inhibitor (FSII), also referred to as anti-icing additive, covering its receipt, storage, delivery and injection in...

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