eeS Europe: Post-show round-up
redT’s COO, Dave Stewart, gives his impressions from a frenetic few days at Europe’s leading energy storage expo, held in Munich, Germany, at the end of June.
This is the second year in a row that’s seen me make the trip to Munich for eeS Europe. These events are often hectic with the key players from across the energy industry converging in a sweltering exhibition venue for a little over 48 hours, and this year certainly didn’t disappoint.
Generally speaking, it was great to see that energy storage really was front and centre for the exhibition and much more prominent than it was last year.
However, my conversations both on our stand and off it centred around one central theme – how to use energy storage properly.
Or to put this in even simpler terms, how to use energy storage to make money.
Below are my three key takeaways from what was a very busy but ultimately successful event for us.
1. The industry is far better educated in energy storage than it was 12 months ago
I’ve been talking about energy storage, and specifically flow machines for years now.
I’m passionate about it. This means I usually need to explain how our technology works at an early stage of the conversation.
But not this year. Those dropping into our stand or people I spoke to on the expo floor understood that redT offered something very different in a hall dominated by lithium battery manufacturers. This meant we were able to dive straight in to the details of large-scale projects and work through the business model for energy storage which drives the returns.
This is why we chose to launch our new Gen 3 product at the event – this is the most advanced flow machine available in the industry today. Its embedded functionality is specifically designed to generate the best financial returns for the serious, large-scale projects that visitors to our stand came to talk to us about.
Which leads me to my next point…
2. There is a lot of excitement around long duration energy storage infrastructure – especially for large scale PV + storage projects
The market is now beginning to understand storage as a 25+ year infrastructure investment.
Energy storage is ultimately just a box to store cheap energy in and the market is now getting very excited about the prospect of very cheap PV coupled with non-degrading, long duration, flexible energy storage assets.
The key drivers for this sort of project are IRR and Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) and the fact that our solutions can achieve PV + Storage LCOE figures for pennies per kWh and IRRs in the mid-teens and above, has only added to the general feeling that these sort of large-scale renewable + storage generation projects are the way forward.
On the other side of the coin, there was the usual proliferation of consumer-focused domestic storage systems. However, our view is these systems just aren’t economic. But this isn’t to say that domestic energy storage won’t be successful. It’s an emotional decision, not an economic one, in much the same way that most people don’t do a cash flow or IRR analysis on the car they buy!
In fact, Scott McGregor (redT CEO) had this exact debate with Sonnen as part of an Energy Storage News panel discussion which you can watch here.
So yes, this is a big shift in the right direction. But there’s always room for more. This is why we’ve just released our 5-minute energy storage masterclass video.
3. Changes in European energy market design are creating huge opportunities for investors
Another refreshing development has been the amount of new markets opening up throughout Europe.
With a growing focus on a fully integrated European electricity market, there is a lot of excitement about the potential for utilising energy storage at MW-scale to take advantage of newly created market opportunities and this was certainly something that was a common theme amongst those who came to see us in Munich.
To say the European energy market design is complex is an understatement!
Market participants are increasingly looking to install flexible energy infrastructure as a means to hedge against policy changes and drive strong returns by taking advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by a fast-moving, ever-changing and let’s face it, ‘imperfect’ policy environment.
I, personally, had some very insightful conversations on this topic at the event and the redT team are working through a number of interesting European projects at the moment.
This is certainly a space to keep an eye on!
redT at eeS Europe
As a team, redT energy had a busy few days on the show floor. Here’s a brief summary of our other activities:
- Panel: Being real about energy storage – Scott McGregor joined a roundtable debate hosted by Energy Storage News and challenged some long-held industry preconceptions. You can watch the video here.
- News: Next gen product launch – We launched our next generation redT flow machine system at eeS. This is the most advanced flow machine technology available in the market to date, and you can hear more about it here.
- Video: The 5-minute masterclass – We continued to educate the industry about energy storage with the release of our 5-minute energy storage masterclass. You can watch the new video here.