Energy storage systems should receive subsidies to help renewable power generators to be fully-integrated into the grid, according to a new academic paper.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) concluded that energy storage systems would not be attractive to investors if they simply relied on “arbitrage”, in which they buy energy when it is cheap and sell it again when it is expensive.

Instead, investors would need a combination of arbitrage and subsidies to turn a profit from energy storage.

The study looked at pumped hydro storage and compressed air energy storage across European markets.

Storage would allow 100% renewables

Konstantinos Chalvatzis, a Senior Lecturer at the UEA, said: “It is good to adjust subsidies for renewable energy technologies that have reached maturity, but you have to start thinking about subsidising storage, as this can take us to using 100% renewable energy sources.

“We need sufficient storage and more investment in storage systems in order for renewable energy to reach its full potential.

“Subsidies would encourage investment, which in turn would enable further integration of renewables into the energy sector.

“The fact that for some days countries such as Germany and Portugal are running their entire electricity network exclusively on renewable energy shows how far we have come to rely on it as a power source and this will continue to increase.”

> Read the paper

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