The EU Commission on December 10 , 2010 organized a well attended infoday on large scale energy storage, a € 30 mln topic in its current ENERGY.2011.7.3-2 call: Storage and balancing variable electricity supply and demand. Flexible, reliable and low cost energy balancing continues to be a barrier to deployment of most renewable energy technologies.

The presence of all of the main energy companies demonstrated the increasing interest in this topic. Currently limited storage is available, mainly in pumped hydro power, and increasing fluctuating production of wind and solar plants combined with low demand elasticity will push up demand for large scale intelligent storage solutions. The EHA and some of its industry members attended the event pointing to the need to integrate hydrogen solutions in the storage mix.  The interest of power companies has been focussing on deploying conventional solutions working on improvements in scale of compressed air, fly wheels, electro chemical batteries and supercapacitors. For limited storage needs the use of recharging electric vehicles is seen as an opportunity.

The Commission is looking for projects that  demonstrate advanced and cost effective systems which would bridge the source availability and the power demand. The projects should be based on storage devices, flexible generation from renewable sources, ICT tools or grid management systems, alone or in combination. The innovative aspects may be on the technology, the tools or system integration.

The projects should improve the energy management addressing several functions to broaden the use of renewable power generation plants also in terms of power quality (security, improved gridinterface, etc). The projects should also assess environmental aspects in relation to their proposed solutions. Storage systems (ideal range of GWh) may address large scale centralised renewable energy systems (e.g. large wind parks, etc) or larger systems based on distributed energy supply coupled withmany smaller storage systems. The projects will notably contribute to better transmit and control large amount of powers over long distances, generated from various sources (especially the variable renewable energy sources), with new monitoring and control systems in order to ensure power quality and voltage. The expected impact should include:
• Development of simple, reliable, efficient and cost-effective energy balancing systems.
• Simulation tools for energy losses reduction, peak demand response and load control.

• Demonstration of electricity systems with replication potential for all of Europe and enabling substantial renewable energy penetration.
The active participation of key industrial partners, DSOs, TSOs, manufacturing and engineering companies (ideally 75% or more of all partners) with
significant manpower and budget is essential to achieve the full impact of the project. The project shall contain a demonstration site at industrial scale. Research shall be done on this demonstration site or be directly linked to it. These elements will be considered during the evaluation.
It is envisaged that up to two projects could be funded.