Renewable power generation
Fuel Cell prototype
Home wall lithium batteries for energy storage
Hydrogen energy vector
Distributed generation approach

Distributed energy generation using renewable power sources and energy storage technologies are of significant importance for the future energy system. Energy storage is considered the key technology in transitioning the global energy economy away from fossil fuels to renewables. An efficient storage is necessary to increase the use of renewables and can contribute to reduce the carbon footprint of the electricity grid. Energy storage technologies can overcome the temporal mismatch between energy supply and demand and avoid that excess of renewable energy is curtailed by the grid operators. In general, the storage technologies contribute to improving the overall efficiency of the energy system. However, in order to effect this transition in applications such as distributed generation, electric power grid and transportation, industry and residential buildings leading energy storage technologies must be economically competitive, reduce the use of critical raw materials and achieve substantial increases in both efficiency and longevity relative to today’s performance. The mission of the Foresight WG “Energy Storage” is to address the challenges of the energy storage sector and related environmental issues in particular the identification and setting of priorities for the topics of future research programmes.

An explorative workshop on “Next Generation Energy Storage Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities” was held in Taormina (Italy), on 2nd and 3rd of December 2015.

The scope of the workshop was the identification and setting of priorities for the topics of future research programmes by involving scientists and experts from academia, policy makers and industry representative to identify appropriate research directions for energy storage technologies.

The results of the explorative workshop are summarised in the Final Report that includes recommendations for promoting breakthrough research with long-term objectives. Among the research areas that need to be prioritised, specific efforts should be addressed to smart functional materials which combine properties of energy conversion and storage on a micro scale as key enablers to drive the transformation of the energy system. Other important areas regard renewable fuels and a wide-scale decarbonisation of the energy system.

Both the explorative workshop in Taormina and a satellite event of the scoping workshop on STEM materials in Rome (23-24 March 2017) pointed out the need of exploring scientific gaps and perspectives in two specific research directions: “Carbon Dioxide Management and Valorisation” and “Green Hydrogen Generation and Use on a Wide-scale”. In this regard, a face-to-face workshop on “Promoting a Sustainable Future through a Large-scale Utilisation of Renewable Fuels” was organised in Rome 8-10 July 2019. According to the Background Document, the goals were to identify research breakthroughs in these fields to rapidly address the need of reducing polluting emissions and global warming, as well as mitigate the climate change.

WG COORDINATOR: Antonino Salvatore Aricò
E-Mail: antoninosalvatore.arico@cnr.it