By Robin Smale
On November Friday 18th, Sanneke Kloppenburg and I attended the HierOpgewekt 2016 event in The Hague. We were invited to share recent research findings via a poster presentation. Together with Nick Verkade we decided to present preliminary insights into emerging energy storage 'modes', based on our ongoing fieldwork in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. The resulting poster (bottom right - click to enlarge) visualizes four modes of battery storage based on distinct socio-organizational characteristics. In English the modes are named: energy autonomy (A), locally shared battery (B), smart network-integration (C), and virtual energy community (D).
It turned out that there was much interest in energy storage at HierOpgewekt, as many participants took notice of our typology. We entered into discussion with a number of participants, and asked some of them to fill in their answers to four questions on a second poster (bottom left).
Most participants who filled in the board indicated that their main motivations for (theoretically) taking part in energy storage, were 'autonomy' and 'green'; 'money' was less important. Most people (8) indicated that the primary function of their battery would be to boost self-consumption of renewable energy. Some (3) were interested in energy trading (with peers or within a community), and contributing to grid balance (also 3). Only one participant was interested in trading energy on the energy market. A majority of participants preferred to control or manage their battery themselves. Five participants would want to leave management of the battery to their (green) energy provider; three prefer their own energy cooperation; and two prefer their grid operator.