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[en] As the global electricity systems are shaped by decentralisation, digitalisation and decarbonization, the World Energy Council's Innovation Insights Briefs explore the new frontiers in energy transitions and the challenges of keeping pace with fast moving developments. We use leadership interviews to map the state of play and case studies across the whole energy landscape and build a broader and deeper picture of new developments within and beyond the new energy technology value chain and business ecosystem. The topic of this briefing is energy storage. We interviewed energy leaders from 17 countries, exploring recent progress in terms of technology, business models and enabling policies. We showcase these in 10 case studies. While the brief addresses energy storage as a whole, most insights are focused on electrical storage. Our research highlighted that today's mainstream storage technologies are unlikely to be sufficient to meet future flexibility requirements resulting from further decentralisation and decarbonization efforts. Furthermore, a restricted focus on lithium-ion batteries is putting the development of more cost-effective alternative technologies at risk. A detailed list of the interviews with innovators, energy users and producers can be found at the end of this brief. Annex 4 provides a list of acronyms and abreviations. With major decarbonizing efforts to remove thermal electric power generation and scale up renewable energies, the widespread adoption of energy storage continues to be described as the key game changer for electricity systems. Affordable storage systems are a critical missing link between intermittent renewable power and 24/7 reliability net-zero carbon scenario. Beyond solving this salient challenge, energy storage is being increasingly considered to meet other needs such as relieving congestion or smoothing out the variations in power that occur independently of renewable-energy generation. However, whilst there is plenty of visionary thinking, recent progress has focused on short-duration and battery-based energy storage for efficiency gains and ancillary services; there is limited progress in developing daily, weekly and even seasonal cost-effective solutions which are indispensable for a global reliance on intermittent renewable energy sources. The synthesis of thought leadership interviews and case studies with 37 companies and organizations from 17 countries helped derive the following key takeaways and also provide the impetus to the solution steps that we discuss in detail later in this brief: 1 - Shared road-maps: Energy storage is a well-researched flexibility solution. However, while the benefits of energy storage are clear to the energy community, there has been limited bridge-building with policy-makers and regulators to explore the behavioural and policy changes necessary to encourage implementation. 2 - Market design - Access and stacking: Market access and the ability to stack different services simultaneously will enable cost-effective deployment of energy storage, regardless of the technology. 3 - More than batteries: Energy storage is too often reduced to battery technologies. Future-proofing our energy systems means considering alternative solutions and ensuring technologies have equal market opportunities. Demonstration projects of such technologies are necessary to disprove bias towards specific technologies. 4 - Sector coupling: Energy storage presents a sector coupling opportunity between hard-to-abate sectors, such as mobility and industry and clean electricity. Different vectors of energy can be used, including heat, electricity and hydrogen. 5 - Investment: Relying on investments by adjacent sectors such as the automotive sector is not enough. The energy sector must adopt more aggressively technologies aligned with the end-goal: affordable clean energy for all.
[fr]L'adoption a grande echelle du stockage de l'energie est consideree comme un changement de paradigme majeur pour le systeme energetique. Le developpement d'une technologie de stockage accessible aux consommateurs constitue le chainon manquant pour rendre fiables les energies renouvelables variables. En depit de ce defi technique, le stockage de l'energie peut remplir un role au-dela des energies renouvelables, notamment dans le controle des congestions et les variations de puissance du reseau. Malgre ces perspectives encourageantes, les progres autour du stockage sont restes centres sur les services secondaires et les gains d'efficacite acquis par le stockage a court terme. En revanche, tres peu de progres a ete fait vers les solutions diurnes, hebdomadaires ou saisonnieres rentables, qui sont necessaires a la fiabilite des sources d'energies renouvelables. Conclusions principales: 1 - Feuille de route partagee: le stockage d'energie est une solution de flexibilite reconnue. Cependant, il existe tres peu de visions communes entre legislateurs et experts, bien que tous reconnaissent le potentiel du stockage. 2 - Structure du marche: obtenir un deploiement rentable du stockage se fera grace a un acces equitable au marche et un cumul de differents services, quelle que soit la technologie utilisee. 3 - Au-dela des batteries: le stockage energetique est trop souvent reduit aux batteries. Un systeme energetique a l'epreuve du temps doit s'appuyer sur des solutions diverses, encouragees par un acces equitable aux opportunites sur le marche. 4 - Couplage sectoriel: le stockage energetique represente une veritable opportunite de couplage entre les secteurs difficiles a decarboner et les energies renouvelables. Differents vecteurs d'energie peuvent etre utilises, y compris la chaleur, l'electricite et l'hydrogene. 5 - Investissements: il faut diversifier les investissements au-dela des secteurs adjacents, tel que le secteur automobile. Le secteur energetique doit adopter de maniere plus agressive les technologies alignees avec leur finalite: de l'energie propre pour tous.
[en] The scenarios provides an inclusive and strategic framework that enables big-picture thinking. They are designed to be used as a set to explore and navigate what might happen and support a better-quality global strategic dialogue on the future of energy systems. These regionally focused scenarios are is produced using a World Energy Council framework, that was developed by the Council and its scenarios partners, Accenture Strategy Energy and the Paul Scherrer Institute. The report is following a medium-term time horizon of 2040 and focuses on European region, which includes EU31, Eastern Europe and Russia. It explores three plausible pathways for a region in Modern Jazz, Unfinished Symphony and Hard Rock futures, provides comparative analysis, and a broader view on 'how to use' the scenarios. The regionally focused scenarios were informed by insights from 15 deep-dive regionally focused leadership interviews, regional workshops in Paris, Berlin and Tallinn, and wide experts' engagements. The European region comprises over 30 national energy systems, including some of the world's largest importer-exporter nations. There is increasing diversity in the overall energy mix, which includes community/ district and industrial heating; centralised and decentralised electricity grids; hydrocarbon molecules; and renewable, hydro and nuclear power generation. Compared with other regions, the European region is also well endowed with both new and ageing national and cross-border energy infrastructures. Whilst the future of energy cannot be predicted with any degree of precision, managing successful energy transitions necessitates a bigger-picture perspective. The exploratory scenarios contained in this report describe three plausible alternative pathways for European regional energy systems. None of the scenarios is the preferred or most likely future. Instead, the set of scenarios can be used by energy leaders to engage constructively with uncertainty and to better prepare for emerging systemic risks and new opportunities. The three scenarios indicate the following as the main challenges facing European energy transition leaders: 1 - European energy systems are already approaching an investment cliff. 2 - New global growth opportunities are emerging in energy, whilst geostrategic competitions are intensifying. 3 - Digital energy competitiveness is key to a next era of regional prosperity. 4 - European shared values imply that there can be no energy transition without social involvement and public acceptance. 5 - New economics of whole system transition are needed that avoid increasing emotional reactions and establish a level playing field in the consideration of alternative net-zero carbon technologies transition pathways. 6 - Developing integrated energy-industrial strategies and promoting sector-coupling policies are pivotal in enabling affordable and deeper decarbonization, in parallel with creating jobs and strengthening regional economic competitiveness. 7 - There is a need to build new capabilities in dynamic resilience and cross-scale governance in order to secure the benefits of global and local flows of clean, reliable and affordable energy for everyone, anytime, anywhere. The main section of the full report presents the three regional storylines to 2040, with supporting comparative analysis of energy sector implications; additional country focused insight; and illustrative, model-based quantification. There is also a section on 'how to use' the scenarios, describing how business leaders and policy makers can effectively use these scenarios to: (1) engage in leadership dialogues; (2) enable integrating policy pathfinding; (3) stress test and translate new energy visions into action; (4) redesign energy businesses
[en] There is increasing and widespread recognition that nuclear energy will feature in the future global energy mix and make its contribution to sustainable development. The growth of nuclear energy and its role in the global energy transition will be influenced by a number of factors. The pace and direction of the global energy transition is part of a much wider set of global developments. The Grand Transition is under way and implies a fundamental socio-economic transition in response to the promise of a coming era of digital and ecological productivity. Within this broader context, the outlook for nuclear and other forms of energy is being shaped by a complex and unpredictable interplay of global drivers of change - including decentralisation, decarbonization, digitalisation and evolving geopolitics. Multiple possible pathways are emerging for managing a successful global energy transition from hydrocarbon molecules to low-carbon energy. Innovation will play a key role but not only through new and improved energy technologies. A broader and disruptive landscape of innovation has led to many new ways of producing, trading and using energy and electricity - such as in transport, buildings and industry. Recognising the diversity of perspectives on nuclear energy, the World Energy Council (the Council), with contributions from the World Nuclear Association (the Association), has gathered insights from senior energy leaders on the future of the industry. This work has contributed to the Council's new global nuclear perspectives, which have been fed into an update of the Council's World Energy Scenarios. In this report, the future of nuclear is described through the lens of the Council's World Energy Scenarios archetype framework - Modern Jazz, Unfinished Symphony and Hard Rock - in three plausible, alternative pathways for the future development of the sector. This report also describes implications for the role of nuclear energy in the global energy transition. The Harmony program, coordinated by the World Nuclear Association, sets out a vision for the future of electricity with the goal for nuclear to provide at least 25% of global electricity before 2050 as part of a clean and reliable low-carbon mix. The Harmony program works with the whole energy community to get support from key stakeholders to ultimately deliver a low-carbon future in which nuclear fully contributes
[en] The World Energy Council's definition of energy sustainability is based on three core dimensions: Energy Security, Energy Equity, and Environmental Sustainability of Energy Systems. Balancing these three goals constitutes a 'Trilemma' and balanced systems enable prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries. The World Energy Trilemma Index presents a comparative ranking of 128 countries' energy systems. It provides an assessment of a country's energy system performance, reflecting balance and robustness in the three Trilemma dimensions. This year we celebrate the 10. anniversary of the World Energy Trilemma Index following its initial launch in 2010 as an energy policy pathfinding tool. Countries develop different energy policies based upon their domestic circumstances with varying natural resources, geographies, and socioeconomic systems. This divergence of differing systems and contexts mean that there is no single golden path for successful energy transition, and instead, each country will need to determine its own best energy policy pathway considering its national situation and priorities. This means that direct comparisons between the rankings and scores of countries can be less informative, but instead help provide a conversation opening. But countries can and should learn from each other, by learning what policies work and why such policies might be successful within some contexts but not in others. The Energy Trilemma Index can help countries and energy stakeholders in an on-going dialogue to determine what areas of energy policies need to improve and examples from other countries that may help to determine which options might be more suitable. While 2020 has been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Energy Trilemma reflects historical energy policy performance that does not include this year's data. The impact of the pandemic will become evident in the 2021 Trilemma as annual data for 2020 becomes available. Some implications of the pandemic for energy are already visible - with the increased focus on digitalisation and depressed global demand, although the longer-term implications for energy systems and transition remain unclear. In this year's Trilemma, the overall scores top ten ranks remain dominated by OECD countries, which illustrates the benefit of longstanding active energy policies. The top three ranking countries of Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark have overall scores of 84 and above. The top ten ranks have a strong European flavour with Canada, the United States and New Zealand breaking the OECD European monopoly. This year we have introduced tied ranks due to the closeness of some country scores; for example, Austria and Finland have the same score and are ranked 4. while the UK and France also share the same score to be ranked 5. The closeness of the scores also prompted the use of the broader ranking definition so that the top ten ranks include more than ten countries due to tied ranks with equal scores. The path followed by the greatest improvers since 2000 reveals the importance of diversifying energy systems and increasing access. The top three countries improving their overall Trilemma performance are Cambodia, Myanmar and Kenya. These countries have low overall ranks but have made significant and sustained efforts to improve their energy systems. In the Energy Security dimension, the top ten ranks include countries with significant hydrocarbon resources alongside countries focused on diversifying and decarbonizing their energy systems with Canada, Finland and Romania topping the list of best performers. The Energy Equity top ten ranks benefit from producer countries with low energy costs for consumers - implicit subsidies - that may be more challenging moving forward in a more volatile price environment post-COVID-19. Luxembourg, Qatar and Kuwait head the list of the top ten performers for the dimension. In the Environmental Sustainability dimension, the top ten rank showcases strong policy efforts to decarbonize and diversify energy systems with the top three being Switzerland, Sweden and Norway. Energy transition brings globally unprecedented change to the energy sector as countries seek to decarbonize while energy policies and regulations themselves tend to lag with incremental step changes. This means that the Energy Trilemma Index needs to evolve continually in order to remain relevant by including the indicators that best reflect the evolving energy sector by modifying data sources or indicator coverage. Changes to the 2020 Trilemma have been incremental and focused on refining the model, although we are evolving the visual presentation. The dimension chapters include summary graphics and text with colour coding to highlight key insights. We have also evolving the graphical presentation of the Trilemma triangle to move away from the orange block towards a colourful composition that better reflects the uniqueness of each Trilemma triangle. The three Trilemma dimension have their own colour aligned with their chapter colouring so the mix for each triangle reflects the differing balances between the dimensions. This multi-colour approach also reflects that energy transition is not single coloured and will reflect a spectrum of differing pathways dependent upon varying national circumstances
[en] The World Energy Council's definition of energy sustainability is based on three core dimensions: Energy Security, Energy Equity, and Environmental Sustainability of Energy Systems. Balancing these three goals constitutes a 'Trilemma' and balanced systems enable prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries. The World Energy Trilemma Index presents a comparative ranking of 128 countries' energy systems. It provides an assessment of a country's energy system performance, reflecting balance and robustness in the three Trilemma dimensions. To provide greater insight, we have evolved the methodology for the 2019 Trilemma and, for the first time, introduced visualisation of historical trends to enable the Trilemma performance of individual countries to be tracked back two decades to 2000. The new time-series analysis provides insights into a country's historical trends, challenges and opportunities for improvements in meeting energy goals now and in the future. The Index demonstrates the impact of varying policy pathways countries have taken in each of the dimensions over the past 20 years. Looking at these trends can inform a dialogue on national energy policy to promote coherence and integration to enable better calibrated energy systems in the context of the global energy transition challenge. Ten countries achieve the top AAA balance grade in the 2019 World Energy Trilemma Index, representing top quartile performance in every dimension. Since 2000, no countries have consistently improved in each dimension every year; instead most show historical trends with a variety of peaks and troughs in a general upward direction. Overall Trilemma performance for 119 countries over the 20-year period has improved, with only 9 countries seeing their overall performance declining. The rate of improvement in overall Trilemma performance also increases as the transition progresses and encourages countries to improve their energy policies. The overall top three countries across all three Trilemma dimensions are Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark. For the Energy Security dimension, the top performing countries in 2019 are Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. The top of the Energy Equity dimension traditionally ranks well-endowed or well-connected countries and geographically concentrated populations with access to abundant and affordable energy: Luxembourg, Bahrain and Qatar are the top performers in 2019. The leaders of the 2019 ranking for the Environmental Sustainability of Energy Systems are countries making steady gains on the pathway to decarbonization and pollution control, in the context of sustainable economic growth. The top performers in this dimension are also the overall Trilemma leaders - Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. Across the different regions of the world, pathways through the transition are different, and leading countries in each region represent this diversity. The top 10 2019 Trilemma ranking is dominated by European countries, with Switzerland as the top performer in Europe both due to robust baseline systems and coherent policies improving upon these. Uruguay ranks highest of all Latin American and Caribbean countries, with high scores in the Security and Sustainability dimensions. In the Middle East and Gulf region, Israel ranks highest due to its performance in Sustainability compared to the regional average. New Zealand, with a placing in the global top 10, heads up the Asia-Pacific region with an AAA grade. Mauritius is ahead of other countries in Africa, balancing both Equity and Sustainability performance. Canada represents the best overall performance in the North American region due to strong Energy Security and a commitment to balanced and integrated energy policy