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A level playing field

Author : Paul Wolfe

Electrical Products’ Paul Wolfe had an exclusive interview with Jillis Raadschelders,
Vice President of EASE (pictured), to discuss its formation, role, and aims.

Jillis Raadschelders

Raadschelders, Principal Consultant of Energy Storage at KEMA has assumed the role of Vice-President within EASE. Previously, Raadschelders acted as member of the Board of Directors of the American Electricity Storage Association. The creation of EASE (European Association for Storage of Energy) results from the European Commission’s Energy Storage Task Force launched in 2009. The founding members have designed EASE as complementary to existing European Industrial Initiatives and to some public private partnerships.

This international non-profit association is focused on acting as a coherent voice to promote the roles of energy storage as key enabling technologies for Europe’s transition towards a sustainable, flexible and stable energy system. The primary role of EASE is to bring together the diverse players currently investigating the role of energy storage in the future evolution of Europe’s electricity grids within a single, coherent body of competence and influence.

Jillis Raadschelders explains that his role at EASE is: “To foster the fair information exchange and discussion on capabilities of energy storage technology for energy systems.”

Commenting on how EASE was formed, Raadschelders said: “The two drivers were the European Commission and ESA in the USA, a storage association. “We chose EASE rather than ‘ESA in Europe’. The market and the grid is different in the USA but we will co-operate on information exchange and technology.

The purpose of EASE is to be a branch association, covering everything from home storage right up to compressed air systems.

EASE is seeking to be an impartial information source on systems and performance, creating a discussion platform and allowing for a level playing field across different technologies.”

Patterns of energy supply and consumption are changing rapidly, especially with the large increasing penetration of renewable energy sources and distributed generation. In addition, the sustained increases in fossil fuel prices, changing market regulations and stringent environmental targets means that there is a considerable pressure on stakeholders to evolve to meet these new demands. Effective energy storage can deliver a number of strategic services both on the regulated and deregulated side of the power business, addressing three major challenges: balancing demand and supply, management of transmission and distribution grids, and energy efficiency.

Therefore, when asked why EASE was required now, Raadschelders stated: “If you connect to the grid, you’re a user or a generator. Load profiles are constantly changing right now. For example, the introduction of electric vehicles will have a huge impact on the energy rating of a household. We need a strategy change and strategy damping. There is a requirement towards a sustainable and flexible grid. The control of grid, smart grid, IT control, demand response and storage is one option, but the final goal of Europe is to have a sustainable energy system. It has to be flexible and stable,” emphasised Raadschelders.

“EASE will educate on methods of storage and participate in the general framework of policies. EASE is not there to push for regulations. Its purpose is to provide a level playing field between technologies.”

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