A review at the role of storage in energy systems with a focus on Power to Gas and long-term storage

Blanco , H. & Faaij, A. 1-Jan-2018 In : Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 81, P1, p. 1049-1086 38 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A review of more than 60 studies (plus more than 65 studies on P2G) on power and energy models based on simulation and optimization was done. Based on these, for power systems with up to 95% renewables, the electricity storage size is found to be below 1.5% of the annual demand (in energy terms). While for 100% renewables energy systems (power, heat, mobility), it can remain below 6% of the annual energy demand. Combination of sectors and diverting the electricity to another sector can play a large role in reducing the storage size. From the potential alternatives to satisfy this demand, pumped hydro storage (PHS) global
potential is not enough and new technologies with a higher energy density are needed. Hydrogen, with more than 250 times the energy density of PHS is a potential option to satisfy the storage need. However, changes needed in infrastructure to deal with high hydrogen content and the suitability of salt caverns for its storage can pose limitations for this technology. Power to Gas (P2G) arises as possible alternative overcoming both the facilities and the energy density issues. The global storage requirement would represent only 2% of the global annual natural gas production or 10% of the gas storage facilities (in energy equivalent). The more options considered to deal with intermittent sources, the lower the storage requirement will be. Therefore, future studies
aiming to quantify storage needs should focus on the entire energy system including technology vectors (e.g. Power to Heat, Liquid, Gas, Chemicals) to avoid overestimating the amount of storage needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1086
Number of pages38
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue numberP1
Early online date31-Aug-2017
StatePublished - 1-Jan-2018


  • Energy storage, Energy modeling, Flexibility, Power to Gas

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