Renewable energy – particularly wind and solar power – has become an economically viable option for electricity production in developing countries.
However, wind and solar are variable renewable energy (VRE) sources. Their output fluctuates with the instantaneous availability of wind and sunlight — and there is no guarantee that they will be available when they are needed most. Unlocking the full contribution of renewable energy resources requires additional measures for their integration into power systems.
In developing countries, existing generation capacity is often insufficient to meet growing electricity demand, the grid is often under-developed (both within and between countries), and operators are unable to maintain grid stability due to a lack of adequate control over generation dispatch and poor demand forecasts. Consequently, under these circumstances, increasing amounts of VRE could impact negatively the secure operation of these systems.
To encourage the use of energy storage in developing countries, the World Bank Group launched a $1 billion battery storage investment program in September 2018.
Energy transitions are underway in many countries, with a significant global increase in the use of wind and solar power playing a key role. To integrate renewable resources into grids, energy storage will be key. Storage will allow for the increased use of wind and solar power, which can not only increase access to power in developing countries, but also increase the resilience of energy systems. Energy storage solutions can also improve grid reliability, stability, and power quality – which are essential to promoting the productive uses of energy.
The industry consensus has been that there is a need to address knowledge gaps. As a response, ESMAP launched its international Energy Storage Partnership with 30+ partners in May 2019. As of June 2020, ESP has held three meetings of Partners and Stakeholders.