In Germany, electricity from renewable energy sources already meets a quarter of the demand. However, the fluctuating availability of such electricity poses a challenge to the scientific and business communities. In future, energy storage options will thus be even more important than now. A project on operator models for electricity storage, involving Fraunhofer ISE, the Institute for Energy Economics and Rational Use of Energy IER and the Compare Consulting company, is addressing the described problem from technical, economic, ecological and social perspectives. The goal is to develop operator models for profitable application of electricity storage technology in the State of Baden- Württemberg.
More than 30 pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations are operating at present in Germany. Due to the economic conditions, however, planned projects are currently being discontinued and there is discussion of closing down power stations that are already in operation today. Similarly, it is difficult to economically justify investments in battery storage units, which is the reason that the German Federal Government is now subsidizing their application in private households. There are many diverse operator models for renewable energy technology, e. g. energy cooperatives or contracting models, which have strongly promoted the introduction of this technology in recent years. Nevertheless, there have been very few innovative models at this level for electricity storage.
A project on operator models for electricity storage, involving Fraunhofer ISE, the Institute for Energy Economics and Rational Use of Energy IER and the Compare Consulting company, is addressing this situation and aims to develop operator models for profitable application of electricity storage technology in the State of Baden-Württemberg. We are examining four different types of requirements for the storage systems: technical, economic, ecological and social.
Different supply tasks for electricity storage units are being investigated in the project. They range from a free-standing house, for which e. g. the share of locally generated electricity consumed on site should be increased, through municipalities which aim to meet their energy demand autonomously, to the whole State of Baden-Württemberg, for which e. g. guaranteeing system stability has the highest priority. The different tasks lead to different technical configurations for storage concerning dimensions and operating modes. Economic calculations are made for different configurations and operator models, from home-owner through contracting to cooperative models, to determine their economic feasibility. In addition, the expected environmental impact of storage technology is being determined by life cycle assessment. Three workshops will be held as part of the project in order to involve the population, potential investors and other interest groups in the development process. These activities will provide a basis for the economic, ecological and socially acceptable development of storage projects in Baden-Württemberg.