EU demands 220GW of energy storage capacity by 2050, EASE


The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) published a study estimating the energy storage capacity needed for Europe to achieve its decarbonisation targets.

EASE forecasts the total power storage demand to range from 70 to 220GW by 2050, compared to roughly 45GW existing today.

The energy storage capacity will range from 1500-5500GWh by 2050 compared to roughly 300GWh existing capacity in pumped hydro storage.

The estimates are based on a scenario envisaging the combined share of wind and solar in power generation reaching 35% EU-wide by 2050.

However, higher renewables share would lead to a significantly higher storage demand.

The whitepaper is a conclusion of existing studies on energy storage demand in different EU member countries.

The 20 studies analysed in this paper mainly consider storage technologies deployed at grid scale.

The more utilities implement demand side management (DSM) programmes, the greater the decrease in demand for energy storage, according to the whitepaper.

EASE believes that the future need for storage depends heavily on the deployment of DSM / energy management programmes.

From today’s perspective, storage may appear costly compared to the other options. However, these DSM options also face strong challenges:

  • Social acceptance for grid extension is becoming increasingly limited, rendering some needed reinforcements impossible.
  • DSM has yet to demonstrate its full potential and uncertainties remain on the role it will be able to play in the future.
  • There are concerns about the environmental impacts and sustainability of flexible thermal generation.

Therefore, EASE believes that an efficient mix of the flexibility DSM options is needed to mitigate the various risks and that energy storage should be a priority for EU policy makers seeking to support the transition to a decarbonised energy system.

For storage deployments to continue increasing to meet demand, EU countries must further improve their understanding of the added value of storage and build innovative business models, whilst preventing delays due to ill-equipped regulations.

The whitepaper can be downloaded here…