Almost half of all stakeholders from the energy storage industry confirm their organisation defines digitalization as a core part of their business strategy, with 75% of respondents saying their organisation proactively invests in digitalization to meet its goals. This is one of the key findings of the ‘Digitalization and the Future of Energy Storage’ published today by DNV GL. The report assesses the current progress of digitalization and identifies the top priorities for and barriers to further growth and is part of DNV GL’s series of reports on the impact of digitalization on the energy industry.
Improved operational efficiency (54%), improved decision making (42%) and helping innovation (39%) through digital technologies have been identified by the storage industry as the top priorities for their digitalization strategies.
Energy storage systems play a vital role in the global energy transition. By 2050, 63% of the world’s electricity will be supplied by solar PV and wind. This large share of renewables requires a considerably more flexible energy system.
Integrating renewables into our grid and relying on them as our main source of energy will depend in part on how much energy can be stored after generation, to be used when it’s needed. DNV GL’s new Energy Transition Outlook 2019 forecasts that to cope with this influx of renewables, storage capacity will expand nearly 50-fold from today’s levels.
Unlike other industries in the energy sector, such as wind or solar, the added value of digitalization in the storage space is heavily focussed on bringing innovation to a traditional market, that can be delivered in collaboration with the conventional energy value chain and legacy technologies.
The storage industry’s attitude to investing in digitalization also reflects a willingness to try new initiatives, with 75% of respondents saying their organisation proactively invests in digitalization to meet its goals. Top priorities identified in the report impacting the storage industry today include: Data visualization (61%), automation and digital workflow (57%) and cyber security (51%).
Many of these technologies are focussed on identifying new ways of adding value and reducing costs in the storage sector. Value-stacking is one key application based on digital technology with the potential for a vast range of new business avenues for energy storage systems, which is the process of being able to perform multiple tasks with the same storage system.
“As the storage industry matures, digitalization will continue to play an integral role to develop the next generation of energy storage systems such as value-stacking. We will only be able to use the same battery for different applications by using digital technologies, such as data analytics to provide optimal real-time control system insights on all aspects of the storage systems’ energy levels,” said Lucy Craig, Vice-President of Technology and Innovation for Energy at DNV GL. ”The results of our survey confirm that the storage industry not only built its success on digital technology, but stakeholders also understand that putting digitalization efforts at the core of their business strategy is vital to continuously advance and develop innovative energy storage systems at a time when the global energy transition provides ample growth opportunities.”