Storage developments

Energy storage: the backbone of power networks

R&D Electrical network Energy storage

Changes in the way we produce and consume energy are driving significant innovations in transmission and distribution networks as well as in electricity storage, which provide a solid and reliable basis for electricity grids increasingly powered by renewable energy.

Energía Iberdrola

Transmission and distribution networks and energy storage are starting to get a lot of attention in the US.

Networks and storage

The transport and distribution of electricity and its storage are receiving increasing recognition around the world. Smart grid industry specialists argue that we are at the top of the game in terms of innovation and application of real-time technologies, but they also state that we are not yet at ideal levels. "Energy storage is very important to balance the grid when renewables are not producing, and we need a really smart backbone to keep this energy organised", argues David M. Hart, professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University (Virginia, United States).

The electricity grid remains one of mankind's most important inventions, but to meet current global demand and achieve new environmental goals, it needs to be redesigned as a whole. From a grid perspective, it is essential to accelerate the transition to a cleaner energy mix, taking into account the world's goals in terms of decarbonisation and electrification of the economy.

Iberdrola is working to modernise and digitalise the grids to improve the quality of the energy distribution system and ensure the incorporation of renewables. In this regard, we have been investing in smart grid technologies for many years and focusing our efforts on making investments in the most efficient way. "We have to consider how technologies will evolve and also adapt our deployment to these evolutions", says Iker Urrutia, head of Global Smart Grids at Iberdrola.

To develop more resilient, robust and intelligent grids, Iberdrola has created an innovation platform called the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, a centre that seeks to respond to the challenges of smart grids through collaboration with startups, universities, laboratories and large companies. According to Iker Urrutia, the advances in low voltage management being carried out at the incubator located in Bilbao allow us to understand in real time how Iberdrola's substations are working, giving us room to predict failures and improve their design in the future.

Energy transmission and storage is beginning to receive significant attention in the United States. In the coming years, billions of dollars are expected to be invested in the sector and significant tax incentives are expected to be approved. However, Gridwise Alliance executive director Karen Wayland points out that it is important to consider the human impact when investing: "We need to find a way to allocate the costs of these upgrades in a fair and equitable way that maintains affordability, but also improves reliability and resilience".

Source: Wall Street Journal Custom Content