Europe drives BESS market strength

Europe drives BESS market strength

Market news |
By Nick Flaherty

Despite the falls in the semiconductor and automotive markets, the global energy storage market remained robust in Q1 2024 according to analysts Interact Analysis.

Increasing deployments of BESS in emerging markets and an acceleration in announcements of 100-megawatt-scale projects says Shirly Zhu, principal analyst. Several countries announced or started construction of their largest ever battery energy storage system (BESS) projects to date. For example,

Lion Storage announced its BESS project ‘Mufasa’, with a capacity of 364 MW/1,457 MWh, which will be the largest BESS in the Netherlands.

Neoen and Nidec announced construction of a 9 MW/93.9 MWh BESS – the largest BESS project in both Sweden and all of Northern Europe. It is expected to enter operation in the first half of 2025.

BESS remained the mainstay of energy storage projects over the quarter, with a small number of PHS projects promoted. In addition, there are several noteworthy highlights in different regions, including Malaysia with its first utility-scale BESS project with a capacity of 400 MWh.

Leading energy storage countries such as Germany and Italy continued to grow rapidly in the first quarter. According to Interact Analysis, Germany and Italy announced or approved more than 1 GW of BESS projects, respectively. During the same period, the Netherlands officially announced the country’s largest BESS project to date, with a capacity of 364 MW/1457 MWh, which is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2026.

Other emerging markets are also accelerating BESS deployments. In the first quarter Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Southern European country of Greece all released tenders for BESS projects.

At the end of 2022, BESS projects were included in the bidding for energy projects in Poland for the first time. In January 2024, the Polish Energy Regulatory Office announced the results of the energy storage tender, and Greenvolt became the biggest winner of the bidding, winning 6 projects with a total of 1.2 GW.

Following the launch of the first round of energy storage project bidding in 2023, Greece announced the winning list of the second round of energy storage project bidding in February this year, which included 11 BESS projects with a total scale of nearly 300 MW.

These projects are required to be put into operation no later than December 31, 2025. The Romanian and Bulgarian governments launched their first round of BESS project bidding in February and March 2024, with project scale reaching 240 MW/480 MWh and 350 MW respectively.

In the European energy storage market, Eastern European countries started later than their Western European counterparts. In September 2022, Romania announced a goal to deploy 480 MWh of battery energy storage by 2025. In Poland, the proposal for power market reform was released in March 2023, which encouraged battery energy storage to enter the market and promote investment for the technology. With the increase in energy demand and the goal of carbon neutrality, energy storage projects and supporting policies are now being rolled out in emerging European countries.

Australia is one of the world’s leading markets for energy storage deployments with more than 3.5 GW energy storage projects in the first quarter, of which BESS projects exceeded 2.1 GW, accounting for nearly 60% of the total. These BESS projects are mainly scheduled to commence operation during 2025 and 2026.

One noteworthy project that shows the challenges of storage systems is the Australia-Asia PowerLink scheme invested in by SunCable. This is the world’s first intercontinental power grid project and will transmit part of the electricity generated to Singapore via subsea cables.

The project signed a development agreement in January 2021, but SunCable went into administration at the end of 2023. The Australian government is confident it will find new funding for the project, which includes 12,000 hectares that generates 17-20 Gigawatt (GW) (peak) from the solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, 36 to 42 GW hours of energy storage and an 800km, 3 GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) overhead transmission line. The onward 4,200km subsea cable to Singapore would provide 15% of the energy needs of the city state.


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