With the European Union’s ambitious climate policies focused on a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the need has increased for large-scale renewable energy sources and feasible methods to store them for long durations. One company looking to help shift renewable energy in this direction is Sumitomo SHI FW (SFW) with its Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) technology.
LAES uses long-duration, thermo-mechanical energy storage in the form of liquid air at ultracold temperatures. Newly generated and excess renewable energy is used to compress and pressurize ambient air into a liquified state, which is then stored in insulated tanks for up to two weeks. The liquified air is evaporated and pushed through a multi-stage turbine that rotates and generates electricity that is introduced into the energy grid.
To properly quantify and understand the value that SFW’s LAES technology can bring to the European power system, encoord used its software SAInt and a comprehensive model of the European electricity market to:
Run comprehensive production cost models (PCM) of the European electricity market
Analyze several scenarios based on variable parameters, both conservative and optimistic, including:
Penetration of renewable energy sources over time from reference (2021) to very high (2040)
Candidate configurations of the LAES fleet
Reserve requirements in the German and Spanish ancillary service markets
Ability of LAES to contribute to reserve provisions
Price of CO2 emissions
Analyze the effects of LAES integration in Germany and Spain compared to a baseline without LAES
encoord was able to demonstrate to SFW that LAES systems have a promising role in the European electricity market, especially in high-renewables scenarios. The results indicate that LAES can firm renewable power generation, reduce curtailments, and drastically lower marginal generation costs. Furthermore, LAES's long-duration capabilities make it suitable for providing capacity reserves and other grid services.
This study gives Sumitomo SHI FW quantifiable evidence that their LAES system can aid in the European Union’s efforts to achieve its ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
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