The Energy Storage Partnership Programm, World Bank Group
by Sandra Chavez Velasquez, Mexiko (PPRE 2010/12), Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), World Bank Group, Washington, US
I took my first energy storage class nine years ago during my PPRE studies. The very dedicated staff in NextEnergy, now DLR Institute of Networked Energy Systems, taught us about different types of batteries and fuel cells, c-rates, coulombic efficiencies and much more. I was instantly fascinated by the nuances of the technology but also, most importantly, by its transformative potential for isolated locations and weak grids in developing counties.
Equipped with that battery knowledge, I went to Mozambique to study battery charging stations for my master’s thesis. There I learnt that the prohibitly high cost of batteries, among other challenges, were hindering its widespread uptake.
Today, almost a decade later, the story is quite different. Many countries around the world are using more solar and wind power, and energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in helping integrate them. In particular, the battery storage market is growing exponentially due to its fast response, easy deployment and cost reduction trends driven by the electric vehicle industry.
But the unique requirements of developing countries’ grids are not yet fully considered in the current battery storage market – even though these countries may have the largest potential for battery deployment as many have limited access to other flexibility options. Most mainstream technologies cannot provide long duration storage or withstand harsh climatic conditions and low operation and maintenance capacity.
To deliver breakthrough energy storage solutions at scale in developing countries, the World Bank Group is convening an Energy Storage Partnership (ESP). As part of my work in ESMAP, I help run the ESP Secretariat and coordinate the 30+ partners. By connecting stakeholders and sharing experiences, the ESP aims to bring new technological and regulatory solutions to developing countries, as well as develop new business models that leverage the full range of services that energy storage can provide.
For me, working in the ESP also represents an opportunity to cross paths again with Professor Carsten Agert, my lecturer for that first energy storage class at University of Oldenburg. I hope that this partnership will help bring affordable storage solutions to developing countries and ultimately enable more integration of variable renewable energy.
For more information about the ESP and the work of the World Bank on Energy Storage: