A round table on energy storage

Enel X has participated in a round table entitled “Storage and network services: creating an Italian market” which took place on 24 September at the Roma Eventi Conference Centre in Rome

Published on 8 October 2019

Enel X's participation at a round table on Energy Storage and Network Services

A round table to hold a “circular” discussion on the growth opportunities for energy storage in Italy. This was the objective of the event organised by EF Solare Italia, held on 24 September at the Roma Eventi Conference Centre. The initiative entitled Storage and network services: creating an Italian market saw the participation of the sector's key players, including Arera, Terna and Enel X as well as trade associations and consulting companies involved in the energy sector.

Enel X, world leader in driving the energy transition, contributed to the debate by sharing the company’s international experience of the storage sector. Eliano Russo, Head of e-Industries at Enel X, explained this business line's innovative vision: "Storage is a key tool in accelerating the push towards decarbonisation and electrification necessary to ensure sustainable development. At the same time energy storage makes it possible to offer the network and our customers the resilience and “power quality” that's essential for ensuring system security and guaranteeing the continuity of production processes."

According to a recent study carried out by boutique energy consulting firm Elemens, the main impediments to the advancement of energy storage solutions in the Italian market are regulatory obstacles. The analysts drew parallels between the past experiences of other countries, such as Ireland and Australia, and the current scenario in Italy. In Europe, the countries that have the largest quantity of installed MW storage capacity are the United Kingdom and Germany. It's easy to understand why: these two countries have fostered the introduction of a solid market approach for the supply of network services, made possible by the creation of a robust regulatory framework that encourages market competition between the storage batteries and other sources of flexibility present in the electricity system. It's therefore perfectly clear how urgent and necessary it is to introduce an adequate regulatory framework in Italy, one capable of encouraging the diffusion of energy storage systems with the ultimate objective of reducing overall system costs.

Indeed, the objectives laid down by the Piano Nazionale Integrato per l’Energia e il Clima (PNIEC - Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate) for 2030, suggest that achieving an optimal management of the national electric system will require the installation of an additional 7 GW of storage capacity. According to the analysis presented by Elemens relating to the impacts of the PNIEC, the introduction of this storage capacity would reduce system costs by a total of 2.6 billion euros through optimising the time-shifting of energy generation from renewable sources.

Combining solar panels with lithium ion batteries is, however, just one of the possible uses for these batteries which, if equipped with the appropriate smart technology, could generate value in a multitude of ways: reducing peaks in demand, price arbitraging, managing imbalances and supplying ancillary services and capacity.

In this context, as Russo highlighted, the diffusion of energy storage systems represents a unique opportunity for both network operators and customers to reduce the management costs of the electricity system and monetise the flexibility offered by batteries and other available sources such as flexible demand and electric vehicles, when connected to the network.

For this reason, Enel X is creating a diversified portfolio of complementary flexibility sources to enable its customers to benefit from this opportunity, both through the reduction in costs of supply as well as through the generation of additional revenue derived from participating in the energy, capacity and services markets.

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