Europe risks ‘second mover’ status on battery tech, auditors warn

(EurActiv, 2 Apr 2019) Europe could be left behind in the international battery-building race, the EU auditors have warned in a report and stressed that better storage is needed if the bloc is to hit its climate and energy targets.

The briefing report published on Monday (1 April) by the guardians of the EU’s finances, the European Court of Auditors (CoA),  outlined some of the challenges faced by the bloc, as the watchdog looked into large-scale grid and transport storage, particularly battery technology.

The report concluded that “the current EU strategy might not meet energy transition challenges”.

Grid storage, in particular, has been touted as the main way Europe can unlock untapped renewable energy potential. Clean energy sources like solar and wind power cannot be switched on and off during peak times, so the energy has to be stored for when it is needed.

Auditor Phil Wynn Owen, who penned the report for the court, said the technology will “play a fundamental role in achieving a low-carbon, mainly renewables-based energy system in the EU”.

But the briefing, which is not one of the CoA’s regular audits, concluded that “there is a risk that the EU has not sufficiently supported the market deployment of innovative energy storage solutions” and that funding criteria could be simplified.

The auditors acknowledged that new legislation has made it easier for power grid investors to overcome what were previously significant obstacles but warned that there are still problems when it comes to electric mobility.

External link

EurActiv, 2 Apr 2019: Europe risks ‘second mover’ status on battery tech, auditors warn