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INSIGHT_E research work currently focuses on the following topics:

Hydrogen and fuel cell pathways for energy applications

Policy report 6

"Assessments of the merit of different hydrogen and fuel cell pathways for energy applications"
Policy report no. 6 to be delivered in Autumn 2015

Lead Author: Paul Scherrer Institute
Co-authors: E4SMA, UCL, KIC InnoEnergy
Reviewers: KIT-ITAS, UCC

In Brief: Fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) solutions are considered as potentially significant elements in a future low-carbon energy system. From an energy policy perspective, the report will assess the respective merits of different FCH applications/pathways in different applications ranging from production of hydrogen from green electricity for storage purposes, use as industrial feedstock, blending in natural gas applications, re-electrification, power generation with methane fuelled micro fuel-cell CHP (in weakly connected areas), etc. 

If you want to provide input for this report, or bring specific points to the attention of the authoring team, leave a comment on our interactive platform.

Business models for flexible production and storage

Policy report 4

"Business models for flexible production and storage"
Policy report on this topic to be delivered in Autumn 2015

Current trends and policies go in the direction of an increased share of electricity from renewable sources in the EU electricity grid, in particular from intermittent sources such as wind or photovoltaic. Also, the share of electricity in the overall energy consumption is likely to increase in the coming years. Finally, more and more electric appliances are used in households and this, at specific hours during the day. All together this results in potentially large and sometimes fast variation of both the production and the consumption and the need to match these calls for temporary production or storage of electricity or conversion of electricity into other forms (gas for example) in a range of  scales for both power and time.

The study will first analyse the past situation in terms of flexible production (e.g. from gas turbine) and storage (e.g. hydro), when the share of intermittent renewables was negligible. The corresponding business models will also be described.
In a second step, the current situation will be reviewed where 21% (2011) of the electricity originates from renewables with an important share of intermittent sources for some countries (e.g. Germany, Portugal, Denmark, etc.). The study will analyse how flexible production and storage have evolved over the last years. In particular, the associated business models and legislative frameworks will be described. Reasons for success or failure investigated.
In the light of past and current experiences, the study will review the likely needs for temporary production and storage (amount of energy, power needed, time scales) at horizon 2020 and 2030 as well as the potential solutions to answers these needs. Business models and potential evolutions of the legislative framework associated with the different solutions should also be proposed. An outlook to the 2050 reference scenario should be made. The level of accuracy and of effort will of course decrease as the targeted years become far from today's situation.

Unburnable fossil fuels in a 2 ⁰C world

Hot Energy Topic 6

Read our Hot Energy Topic report no. 6 on "Unburnable fossil fuels in a 2 ⁰C world"
Publication date: February 2015
Lead Authors:  Christophe McGlade, Steve Pye (UCL)
Authoring Team: Carole Mathieu (Ifri); Željko Jurić, Marko Matosović (EIHP)
Reviewer: Paul Deane (UCC)


Steve Pye presenting Hot Energy Topic 6 to DG ENERGY of the European Commission on March 27th, 2015

Summary: Recent climate studies have shown that average global temperature rises are almost linearly related to the cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases emitted over a given timeframe. This has resulted in the concept of the remaining global ‘carbon budget’ that provides a better-than-evens chance of avoiding more than a 2oC temperature rise. In particular, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently suggested that CO2 emissions between 2011 and 2050 cannot exceed around 1,100 Gt CO2 if the 2oC limit is not to be exceeded. It has subsequently been noted by many authors that the CO2 emissions embodied within current estimates of fossil fuels reserves are more than three times this carbon budget. The policy implications of this for fossil fuel companies, those who invest in them, and politicians are profound. For example, politicians need to realise that their instinct to exploit their territorial fossil fuel resources as quickly and completely as possible is inconsistent with their stated commitment to the 2oC temperature limit. In respect of the companies, in a world of stringent carbon control their substantial exploration budgets appear to be largely self-defeating in aggregate.    ​ 

If you wish to react to this paper or ask a question to the authors, please join us on our interactive platform.

Key messages for Europe from the World Energy Outlook 2014


Hot Energy Topic 5

Read our Hot Energy Topic no. 5 on "Key messages for Europe from the World Energy Outlook 2014"
Completion date: December 2014
Lead Author: Paul Deane (UCC)
Authoring Team: Ulrich Fahl (University of Stuttgart), Carole Mathieu (Ifri)
Reviewers: Kimon Keramidas (Enerdata)

Summary: This Hot Energy Topic presents summary messages for the European Union from the World Energy Outlook 2014. Key findings highlight important challenges for the power sector and fossil fuel sectors as Europe transitions to a low carbon energy system. Challenges in securing gas supplies are details together with the outlook for new sources of LNG in the medium to long term. In the transport sector, the IEA report describes developments in the electric vehicles fleet. New forms of energy like bioenergy are also expected to uptake in the transport and building sector. 

If you wish to react to this paper or to send questions to the author, please leave a comment on our interactive platform.

Europe’s renewable energy policies

Hot Energy Topic 4

Read Hot Energy Topic 4 on "Europe’s renewable energy policies: Too much focus on renewable electricity?"
Completion date: November 2014
Lead Author: Steve Pye (University College London) 
Authoring Team: Brian Ó Gallachóir, Paul Deane (University College Cork)  
Reviewers: Dražen Jakšić, Antonia Tomas Stanković (EIHP)  

Summary: Renewable energy forms a critical part of the European Union’s ambition to transition towards a low carbon economy. The RE Directive forms a key legislative framework for enabling Member States to develop measures and attract the necessary investment in different technology options.
This report details the challenges of achieving Europe’s renewable energy objectives. In the context of positioning the EU on a pathway to ambitious emissions reductions and renewable energy targets for 2030, it proposes a stronger refocusing of policy action towards heating & cooling and transport sectors, in addition to developing renewable electricity sources.

If you wish to react to this paper or ask questions to the author, leave a message on our interactive platform.

How can batteries support the EU electricity network?

Policy Report 1

Read Policy report 1 (PR 1)  on "How batteries can support the EU Electricity Network?"

Publication date: November 2014

Lead author: Bo Normark (KIC InnoEnergy)
Co-author: Aurélie Faure (Ifri)
Reviewers: Paul Deane (UCC), Steve Pye (UCL)

Scope and objectivesThis report covers electro-chemical batteries for energy storage in the energy system, i.e. rechargeable batteries. It seeks to i) identify the reasons behind the rapid cost reduction of batteries, ii) evaluate the applications and areas of the value chain where battery storage appears to be most relevant, and ii) identify the framework conditions likely to influence technology development (in particular the regulatory hurdles, market conditions, and environmental risks).

Download Executive Summary

Table of contents:
I. Introduction
II. State of the Art
II.A. Overview of storage technologies
II.B. The role of batteries in energy storage
II.C. Assessment of the potential for electrical vehicles in the grid
II.D. Conclusion
III. The role of battery storage in view of the 2020 and 2030 targets for renewables
III.A. The role of battery storage in scenarios for the development of the electricity system
III.B. The role of storage in relation to urban/rural areas
III.C. The business cases for battery storage in relation to the service provided and ownership
III.D. Interactions of electrical storage and other storage possibilities
III.E. Safety aspects
III.F. Conclusion
IV. Bottlenecks
IV.A. Storage from the legislator’s perspective
IV.B. System benefits of storage
IV.C. Existing and emerging business cases
IV.D. Conclusion
V. Solutions, Recommendations and Business Models on a 5 and 10 year timeframe
V.A. Reduction of market barriers
V.B. Reorientation of legislative and regulatory barriers
V.C. Education of consumers, communities and stakeholders
V.D. Ensuring leadership in electric drive manufacturing
V.E. Standardization of regulatory policies
V.F. Acceleration of technology breakthroughs

VI. Conclusion 

On November 28th, the Authoring team organised an expert workshop which aimed to gather feedback on achieved results and input for the report’s conclusions, on the basis of the three following questions:

1) What are your expectations regarding the regulatory framework, at EU level, and at national level?
2) How do you see the market for battery storage on home level, distribution level and transmission level?
3) What are the main barriers or drivers for a battery industry in Europe, in particular :
a. for a recycling battery industry in Europe?
b. for the battery system industry in Europe, in particular the Battery Management System industry?

You can download  the presentation given by M. Bo Normark during this webinar.

The discussion continues on our dedicated forum. Feel free to share your opinion and input on battery storage!