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Energy storage and sector coupling: Towards an integrated, decarbonised energy system

24-06-2019

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather. As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the ...

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather. As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the gap in time between energy production and energy consumption. While the share of renewable energy in the electricity sector is growing continually, other sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry, still depend largely on fossil fuels. To decarbonise these sectors, they can either be electrified or the fossil fuels can be substituted by renewable gases such as hydrogen or renewable liquid fuels. Transformation from electricity to gases and vice versa can add further storage capacity and flexibility to the energy system. Research indicates that coupling different sectors in this way would lower the overall cost of decarbonising the energy system. The EU has reformed its electricity markets to facilitate the participation of storage in managing supply and demand, and revised the renewable energy directive to include renewable gases. When it comes to industrial policy, the EU supports initiatives for batteries and hydrogen. The debate about the pathways towards a carbon-neutral economy is ongoing, and is based on the Commission's clean planet strategy. The outcome of this debate will influence EU policies in various fields and inform the EU's low greenhouse gas emission development strategy under the Paris Agreement, which must be submitted in 2020.

ENERGY POLICY

15-03-2017

This leaflet provides abstracts of selection of latest publications prepared by the European Parliament’s Policy Department on Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the ITRE Committee in relation to the Energy policy.

This leaflet provides abstracts of selection of latest publications prepared by the European Parliament’s Policy Department on Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the ITRE Committee in relation to the Energy policy.

What if the energy grid needed cars?

19-09-2016

Smart transportation is widely seen as creating a world in which the vehicles of the future have the ability to make decisions without human input. But in addition, car batteries can serve as an electricity storage mechanism, supporting stabilisation of the electricity grid through vehicle-to-grid technology.   Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Smart transportation is widely seen as creating a world in which the vehicles of the future have the ability to make decisions without human input. But in addition, car batteries can serve as an electricity storage mechanism, supporting stabilisation of the electricity grid through vehicle-to-grid technology.   Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Promotion of renewable energy sources in the EU: EU policies and Member State approaches

07-06-2016

This paper analyses the development of renewable energy sources (RES) in the EU, with a focus on support mechanisms at the EU and Member State level, including current and upcoming reforms. It presents the principal support mechanisms for RES, as well as developments in selected Member States, outlines the main technical and regulatory challenges associated with an increasing share of renewable energy and highlights the involvement and positions of the European Parliament. The development of renewable ...

This paper analyses the development of renewable energy sources (RES) in the EU, with a focus on support mechanisms at the EU and Member State level, including current and upcoming reforms. It presents the principal support mechanisms for RES, as well as developments in selected Member States, outlines the main technical and regulatory challenges associated with an increasing share of renewable energy and highlights the involvement and positions of the European Parliament. The development of renewable energy sources (RES) is a priority for the European Union. One of the goals of the EU Energy Union strategy is making the EU the world leader in renewable energies. The Renewable Energy Directive sets national targets for all Member States, which remain free to decide how they support RES within the EU energy market rules. The Commission plans to revise the Renewable Energy Directive and other RES-related legislation in 2016. Renewables have a growing share in energy consumption in the EU. However, RES investments in Europe have fallen in recent years due to regulatory changes, economic slowdown and falling technology costs. The development of RES poses a number of technical and regulatory challenges, notably their integration into electricity grids and the sustainability of biofuels, and requires a market design that encourages investment while keeping costs under control. The European Parliament supports the growth of RES in the EU and has called for more ambitious targets. Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy is currently working on own-initiative reports on energy market design and on the renewable energy progress report.

EU strategy for LNG and gas storage

01-06-2016

In February 2016, the European Commission presented an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage, as part of its sustainable energy security package. This builds on existing EU legislation and supports closer consideration of LNG and gas storage issues in proposed or future EU legislation covering the gas sector. Some EU Member States have significant spare capacity to import LNG, whose global prices have fallen rapidly over the past two years, making it far more competitive vis-à-vis ...

In February 2016, the European Commission presented an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage, as part of its sustainable energy security package. This builds on existing EU legislation and supports closer consideration of LNG and gas storage issues in proposed or future EU legislation covering the gas sector. Some EU Member States have significant spare capacity to import LNG, whose global prices have fallen rapidly over the past two years, making it far more competitive vis-à-vis pipeline imports. LNG production is expected to increase substantially in the coming years, with predictions of a supply glut and a sustained period of low prices. The LNG strategy considers how the EU can take advantage of this changing market in order to develop a more diverse, secure and affordable gas supply. The strategy proposes a more optimal geographical distribution of LNG import capacity, improved cross-border gas interconnections, full implementation of the internal gas market and closer international engagement with countries that are major LNG suppliers or importers. The strategy notes that LNG has considerable potential as a transport fuel, with far lower air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions than oil-based equivalents. Improved cross-border access to gas storage and more flexible storage options would enhance the potential benefits deriving from increased LNG use. Separate studies of gas storage produced for the Parliament and the Commission argue that storage levels are generally adequate in the EU, despite the very different regulatory regimes adopted by Member States. Gas storage in the EU would benefit from improved cross-border access and a focus on storage issues in regions with supply vulnerabilities.

Energy Security and Integration

27-04-2016

The above studies and debate indicate that there is no single solution to increasing energy security and integration. However, it is clear that increased cooperation and coordination on a European level is needed to enhance energy independence, particularly in view of the differences between Member States in relation to their degree of energy dependency. The current proposal only covers gas supply and not electricity supply, making it more difficult to assess to what extent the proposal will enhance ...

The above studies and debate indicate that there is no single solution to increasing energy security and integration. However, it is clear that increased cooperation and coordination on a European level is needed to enhance energy independence, particularly in view of the differences between Member States in relation to their degree of energy dependency. The current proposal only covers gas supply and not electricity supply, making it more difficult to assess to what extent the proposal will enhance energy security overall. While the proposal strengthens the oversight role of the European Commission, it is not clear whether the increased information requirements would contribute to a more transparent and therefore more competitive market. Taking into account the global developments is also important. LNG demand in Asia, as well as conflicts in the Middle East, will have an effect on available resources and on energy security. This increases the importance of linking EU energy policy with EU external relations as called for by Parliament. Overall, a variety of initiatives are needed, together with careful consideration of the consequences of these choices, and a recognition that EU energy dependency will continue for some time.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - January 2016

18-01-2016

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Energy Storage: Which Market Designs and Regulatory Incentives Are Needed?

01-12-2015

As presented in the study 'Energy Storage: Which Market Designs and Regulatory Incentives Are Needed?', energy storage is accomplished by various technologies for the release of energy at a later time and potentially involves conversion from one form of energy to another, both before storage and at the time of release. This leaflet presents the key findings of this study. Link to the original publication: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/563469/IPOL_STU(2015)563469_EN.pdf

As presented in the study 'Energy Storage: Which Market Designs and Regulatory Incentives Are Needed?', energy storage is accomplished by various technologies for the release of energy at a later time and potentially involves conversion from one form of energy to another, both before storage and at the time of release. This leaflet presents the key findings of this study. Link to the original publication: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2015/563469/IPOL_STU(2015)563469_EN.pdf

Liquefied Natural Gas in Europe

04-11-2015

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) represents the main alternative to pipeline supplies of gas. In liquefied form, natural gas (methane) can be stored and transported across long distances, contributing to diversification of supply and enhancing energy security in Europe. The gas market in the EU is characterised by gradually declining domestic consumption and more rapidly declining domestic production. Import needs are likely to increase in the short and medium term, and remain broadly stable in the longer ...

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) represents the main alternative to pipeline supplies of gas. In liquefied form, natural gas (methane) can be stored and transported across long distances, contributing to diversification of supply and enhancing energy security in Europe. The gas market in the EU is characterised by gradually declining domestic consumption and more rapidly declining domestic production. Import needs are likely to increase in the short and medium term, and remain broadly stable in the longer term. The recent plunge in gas prices, combined with abundance of supply and a weak global economic scenario, has encouraged the diversion of LNG supplies to Europe. The International Energy Agency and the European Commission expect this trend to continue in the coming years. Major new LNG suppliers are emerging and the prospect of US shale gas being exported as LNG could further reshape global gas markets. The European Commission is developing an EU strategy for LNG and gas storage, one of several measures under the Energy Union package to improve energy security and diversify sources of supply. Infrastructural projects, often with EU funding, are helping several Member States to access LNG supplies, while others have sufficient import capacity to meet expected future needs. A strategic emphasis on LNG is consistent with the recommendations of the European Council and the European Parliament.

Energy Storage: Which Market Designs and Regulatory Incentives are Needed?

15-10-2015

This study analyses the current status and potential of energy storage in the European Union. It aims at suggesting what market designs and regulatory changes could foster further cost reduction and further deployment of energy storage technologies to provide services supporting the Energy Union strategy. This study was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE).

This study analyses the current status and potential of energy storage in the European Union. It aims at suggesting what market designs and regulatory changes could foster further cost reduction and further deployment of energy storage technologies to provide services supporting the Energy Union strategy. This study was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE).

Externý autor

Sergio UGARTE, Julia LARKIN, Bart van der REE, Vincent SWINKELS and Monique VOOGT (SQ Consult B.V.) ; Nele FRIEDRICHSEN, Julia MICHAELIS, Axel THIELMANN and Martin WIETSCHEL (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI) ; Roberto VILLAFÁFILA (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)

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