Digitalisation at core of energy storage industry business strategy: report


Almost half of all stakeholders from the energy storage industry confirm their organisation defines digitalisation as a core part of their business strategy, with 75 per cent of respondents saying their organisation proactively invests in digitalisation to meet its goals.

This is one of the key findings of the ‘Digitalization and the Future of Energy Storage’ published by DNV GL. The report assesses the current progress of digitalisation 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 digitalisation on the energy industry.

Improved operational efficiency (54 per cent), improved decision making (42 per cent) and helping innovation (39 per cent) through digital technologies have been identified by the storage industry as the top priorities for their digitalisation strategies.

Energy storage systems play a vital role in the global energy transition. By 2050, 63 per cent 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, according to DNV GL.

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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 digitalisation 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 digitalisation also reflects a willingness to try new initiatives, with 75 per cent of respondents saying their organisation proactively invests in digitalisation to meet its goals. Top priorities identified in the report impacting the storage industry today include: Data visualisation (61 per cent), automation and digital workflow (57 per cent) and cyber security (51 per cent).

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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, digitalisation will continue to play an integral role to develop the next generation of energy storage systems such as value-stacking,” DNV GL Vice-President of Technology and Innovation for Energy Lucy Craig said.

“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.

“The results of our survey confirm that the storage industry not only built its success on digital technology, but stakeholders also understand that putting digitalisation 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.”