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2022-07-18
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Europe’s energy markets: how to curb market volatility

Energy markets across Europe are experiencing the biggest fluctuations in prices on record, as a number of economic shocks and continued uncertainty stoke volatility in the region. Reliance on imported gas and coal has seen the German Economy Minister Robert Habeck (the Greens) claiming that not building up renewable capacity in the country was a political misstep. However, the solutions to market instability are available with increased battery energy storage that could yield great savings and provide a hedge against rising energy prices. 


In recent months, news coverage has been awash with stories covering the energy crisis, price hikes, economic factors and geopolitical events, factors that have influenced energy prices and inevitably been passed on to consumers resulting in higher energy bills. In an attempt to curb rising prices which are predicted to continue, prominent political leaders of several EU countries are calling for more renewable investment and less reliance on imported coal and gas. Renewable generation records were reached across Southern Europe and in May at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the International Energy Agency Executive Director highlighted the need for greater investments in the clean energy transition to address the major global challenges of energy security and climate change.


While it may take time to mobilise large-scale finance and infrastructure that addresses escalating energy prices at a continental and global scale, consumers are continuing to experience record high bills.

Recent market analyses from customers in Germany with a variable power tariff reveal some alarming data. Huge fluctuations in price per kWh are recorded - of up to 30 cents between peak times of renewable generation. During this time, when demand is low, yet renewable energy production is high this can lead to large disparities in the cost of energy usage per kWh.


This can cause consumers to see large spikes in the price per kWh of energy consumption during peak hours of demand. However, an abundance of solar energy is produced during peak daylight hours, which causes the price per kWh to plummet, making it more affordable for individuals, commercial and utility-scale power consumers.

 

Energy storage to smooth the prices

One way to help bring down energy costs for residential, commercial, and utility consumers is with energy storage solutions (ESS).

With ESS, excess energy produced during times of peak solar generation can be stored in energy storage systems and then discharged in the evening, when the price per kWh is high. This enables power consumers to capture and store low-cost energy which can then be used on demand, to avoid costly periods of power consumption.

 

Source: https://strom-report.de/charts-diagramme-strompreise/

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ESS is predicted to scale exponentially as more renewables are brought online, with energy market analysts such as Wood Mackenzie forecasting rapid growth of ESS technology and installation around the world. By 2024, the market will increase to a sizeable 44 GWh.

As a world-leading ESS provider, Sungrow offers different solutions to meet the needs of customers no matter the size of their energy needs.

 

Battery Energy Storage Solutions at a large scale

For utility-scale power consumers, Sungrow has so far provided ESS solutions in the UK, Spain and Israel as well as the US, Thailand and China. The Sungrow PowerTitan Liquid Cooled ESS is an affordable, efficient, and flexible storage system that features smart monitoring technology, fully integrated battery performance and various essential grid services. ESS for utility can be fast and safely installed with the Sungrow system, designed for smooth transportation, operation and maintenance. Its long-lasting battery life and high performance thanks to its liquid cooling system with intelligent cell-level temperature control that ensures higher efficiency and longer battery cycle life, making it a greater investment over the long term.

 

James Li, Head of Technical ESS at Sungrow correctly adds: “The impact of the already ongoing Climate Change needs to be minimized. Therefore, the electrical power sector needs to come up with technological and engineering solutions to connect large quantities of renewables, using energy storage and other low-carbon technological solutions. These solutions must lead to a balanced power generation and demand. It is key to provide reliable and affordable electricity for all customers. Sungrow is doing an outstanding job with their R&D team and the ESS products we can already offer today.”

 

Doing it the smart way: Saving solar energy during the day and consuming it later

For residential power consumers, Sungrow offers a fully modular battery, together with a hybrid inverter. The enhancement to this solution is set to be released as an easy-to-install EV charger in autumn 2022 that allows for fully integrated at-home renewable power storage, charging and consumption. The new 3-phase Hybrid, Battery and EV Charger is an all-in-one solution for homeowners. The 3-phase solution is user-friendly, versatile, and intelligent. Specifically, the new battery is designed with a modular application in mind. This means that self-consumption can be increased significantly thanks to storage. Normally during the day, a surplus of PV energy is produced but during these hours, many customers are working in the office, and children are at school which means the energy is not used at home. Storage solves this problem by capturing the energy when it is abundant and cheap during the day and dispatching it when it is needed in the evening.


The solution offers an optimised residential backup experience, which includes a seamless transition when there is a power outage. This provides energy security for residential consumers during power outages, while the modular battery offers the benefit of the ability to store electricity when it is cheaper and use it to power their home and their electric vehicle. 

 

In the end, making use of and saving solar energy that is delivered to the doorstep is the most effective means against the volatile and rising cost of energy consumption, both as a homeowner as well as an Independent Power Producer (IPP). Sungrow is not only the global No.1 inverter supplier, according to the latest-released IHS Markit, now a part of S&P global, inverter ranking, but also a world’s leading energy storage system supplier with over a 16-year track record in this sector. With Sungrow products, every use case finds a most effective and cost-optimised solution.

 

For more information about Sungrow’s ESS systems visit the Sungrow website.

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18MW PV Plant in Dubai
Developer: Recurrent Energy
Owner: empra
EPC:Signal Energy
Capacity:205MWac
Model:SG2500U
Location:Fresno, CA
Commissioned in Q4 2017
Developer: Recurrent Energy
Owner: empra
EPC:Signal Energy
Capacity:205MWac
Model:SG2500U
Location:Fresno, CA
Commissioned in Q4 2017