Energy storage deployment reached a record yearly high of over 8GWh in 2018, nearly doubling from 2017

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

The Energy Institute and the Process Safety Management Framework – with Jordan Engineers Association

27-10-2020
Join the Energy Institute (EI) and the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) - Chemical Process Safety Engineers Society to learn from industry leading experts about the EI’s leading work in Process Safety Management (PSM), and particularly the upcoming 2nd edition of the Energy Institute’s...

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EL LIVE Free Webinar | Renewables: Health, Safety and Sustainability

5-11-2020
A free webinar, held ahead of the 2021 conference, to discuss building renewables in a safe and sustainable way.5 November 2020: 14:00 - 15:15 GMTEI Knowledge Partner:Webinar sponsor:

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EI LIVE | Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF) 2020

11-11-2020
The RMF is an excellent multi-disciplinary platform which brings together oil producers, scientists, technologists, engineers, academics and researchers from around the world to present, share and discuss the widespread and versatile effects of microbes in oil reservoirs.

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EI LIVE free webinar | Changing energy demands – implications for infrastructure and storage

25-11-2020
Sponsored by:Please note that registration closes at 17:00 on 24 November 202025 November 2020, 11:00 - 12:30 GMT

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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

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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Battery storage guidance note 3: Design, construction and maintenance

2020
This publication is free to download. Please log in to see the download option.This publication captures learning and experience from battery storage construction projects, with special emphasis on ensuring the safety of such projects to people and environment.Based on industry interviews and availa...

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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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