ENERGY STORAGE

Top 5 European markets for battery storage installations

Annual battery storage installations in Europe broke the 10GWh barrier for the first time in 2023 – new data reveals which markets topped the charts

BEN COOK

June 26, 2024

  • Annual battery storage installations in Europe broke the 10GWh barrier for the first time in 2023
  • A total of 17.2GWh of battery storage was installed, up 94% on previous year
  • New data ranks the top 5 European markets for battery storage installations

It was a breakthrough year for battery storage in Europe in 2023. It represented the first time that the 10GWh barrier for annual installations was broken. In total, a massive 17.2GWh of battery storage was installed in Europe in 2023, a huge 94 per cent increase on the previous year, according to data from industry association SolarPower Europe (see graph below).

The evolution of the European battery storage market is also a tale of a rapidly expanding residential solar and storage market. As of 2023, residential installations made up almost two-thirds of cumulative battery storage installations in Europe. Only four years previously, in 2019, residential installations made up less than half of the total.

So which European nations led on battery storage installations in the last year?  

1. GERMANY

Deployed more energy storage than any other European country in 2023, with a total of 5.9GWh installed, a massive 152 per cent increase on the 2022 total of 2.3GWh. Between 2022 and 2031, it has been predicted that Germany will install a total of 8.81 GWh of energy storage, making it the third-fasted growing European market over the period.

Recent developments: In March this year, German municipality-owned electricity distribution network developer Westfalen Weser was allocated a plot of land in Beverungen for a 120MW / 280 MWh battery storage facility, with the €92 million project scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2026. Also in March, Kyon Energy received approval for a 100MW / 200MWh storage facility in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

Reasons for optimism: While China is the overwhelmingly dominant player in the global lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity, it is anticipated that Germany will become its biggest challenger.

2. ITALY

Installed a total of 3.7GWh of storage in 2023, an 86 per cent increase on the 2GWh deployed in 2022. Between 2022 and 2031, Italy is forecast to install a total of 12.23 GWh of energy storage making it the second-fasted growing European market over the period.

Recent developments: In April this year, clean energy fund manager Nuveen Infrastructure – formerly known as Glennmont Partners – and asset management and development firm Exus Renewables agreed a deal to co-develop around 800MW of battery storage projects in southern Italy. Also this year, Renewable Power Capital (RPC) and Altea Green Power entered into a partnership to develop 1GW of battery energy storage in the country. Meanwhile, solar project developer Emeren Group and Glennmont Partners from Nuveen entered a co-development agreement for 155 MW of battery storage projects – with a capacity of up to 1.24GWh – in two regions of southern Italy. In February this year, Milan-based battery energy storage developer ACL Energy formed a joint venture partnership with global energy storage owner-operator BW ESS and London-based battery storage developer, owner, and operator Penso Power, with the three companies becoming joint shareholders in three Italian development stage storage projects with a total capacity of 395MW. In November last year, Pacific Green acquired stakes in five Italian BESS projects.

Reasons for optimism: The European Commission has approved – under EU State aid rules – a €17.7 billion Italian scheme to support the construction and operation of a centralised electricity storage system. The scheme will support the construction of electricity storage facilities with a joint capacity of more than 9 GW/71 GWh. It will run until 31 December 2033.

3. UK

Installed 2.7GWh of energy storage in 2023, up 91 per cent on the 2022 total of 1.4GWh. However, while the UK ranked only third among European countries for storage deployment in 2023, it is expected to install more storage than any other country during the period 2022 to 2031, with deployments anticipated to total a huge 25.68GWh.

Recent developments: Last month, Statera Energy submitted a planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council for a 500MW battery energy storage system at Culham Campus, formerly known as UKAEA Culham Science Centre, while earlier this month, Recurrent Energy and Windel Energy were granted planning permission by Cumberland Council in the UK for a 200MW/400MWh battery energy storage system. Elsewhere in March this year, SSE Renewables announced that OCU Energy will be the principal contractor and battery supplier for its 150MW / 300MWh battery storage project at Fiddler’s Ferry, Warrington in the UK. Meanwhile, in February this year, it was revealed that technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 300MW / 600MWh energy storage system under an engineered equipment delivery (EEQ) contract to battery storage specialist Zenobē for a project in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

Reasons for optimism: Forecasts have indicated that $20 billion will be invested in the UK storage sector during the period 2023 to 2030.

4. AUSTRIA

Deployed 1GWh of storage in 2023, double the 0.5GWh installed the previous year. A large proportion of this total was deployed in the residential sector, which contributed 840MWh of the total. However, the residential market is expected to offer fewer opportunities in 2024.

Recent developments: Earlier this month, the Austrian government’s Climate and Energy Fund said it would make €17.9 million (US$19 million) in grants available for ‘medium size’ distributed-scale energy storage projects in Austria. In September last year, developer NGEN Smart Grid Systems completed a 10.3MW/20.6MWh standalone battery storage project in Austria, the largest such project in the country, according to the company.

Reasons for optimism: According to SolarPower Europe, the Austrian government has been “supportive of renewables and energy storage solutions providing attractive financial incentives, investment grants, and subsidies to the segment”.

5. CZECH REPUBLIC

Tripled energy storage installations in 2023 when deployment hit 0.92GWh, up from 0.3GWh the previous year. The growth was largely driven by the massive expansion of the residential storage segment. Last year, Czech households installed 910MWh of solar and storage, which, according to SolarPower Europe is the highest BESS-PV attachment rate in Europe (94 per cent).

Recent developments: Last year it was announced that energy company ČEZ ESCO will build the largest battery in the Czech Republic at Vítkovice – the company said the battery storage capacity would be 10 MW and it would exceed the “current largest battery in the Czech Republic by more than 40 per cent”.

Reasons for optimism: SolarPower Europe says: “A clear example of a long-term funding strategy is the Czech Republic, which introduced the Green Savings Programme in 2022. Making use of the EU Modernisation Fund, this investment grant scheme encompasses energy-efficient home renovations, including solar PV and battery storage, without imposing a cap on the number of installations eligible for subsidy. This has resulted in an exceptional home storage deployment volume, exceeding 900 MWh in 2023.” The country is also expected to expand both the C&I and the grid-scale storage segments in the coming years. SolarPower Europe also says that the Czech Republic is only one of five EU member states that is effectively addressing the issue of double-charging (the other member states being Germany, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) – double charging fees happen when energy storage is seen as both a consumer, absorbing electricity from the grid to help balance and reduce congestion, and as a producer, injecting the same electricity back into the grid when needed. “Since double charging doesn’t affect fossil generators, energy storage is unfairly disadvantaged against fossil fuels in flexibility provisions,” SolarPower Europe says.