Opportunities, Barriers and Preconditions for Battery Energy Storage in Sweden : A Study Investigating the Possibilities of Grid Connected Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems in the Swedish Electricity Market
Abstract: The global energy system is under transformation. The energy transition from a centralized, fossil fuel based energy system to a more decentralized, renewable energy based system will challenge the balancing of electricity supply and demand. This stresses the importance of grid flexibility. In this challenge, energy storage will play a valuable role as it can provide flexibility and support the renewable energy integration. More specifically, lithium-ion battery energy storage systems (Li-ion BESS) demonstrate technological advantages and valuable application possibilities in the electricity grid. This thesis examines opportunities and barriers for deployment of grid-scale Li-ion BESS in the Swedish electricity market, and provides an overview of different perspectives of possibilities with BESS from several market actors. The purpose of the exploratory study is to gain an understanding of prospects for grid-scale BESS in Sweden. Through a comprehensive literature study and an empirical study, based on fourteen interviews with various actors in the electricity market, data was collected and analyzed. The analysis of the empirical findings resulted in two tables summarizing opportunities and barriers for implementation of BESS in Sweden. The opportunities and barriers are categorized into three hierarchical levels; contextual level, power system level and BESS level, referring to where in the system the benefits or hinders are localized. Also, key discussion points related to BESS (such as storage time perspective, ownership, grid services, cost, price signals and knowledge gap) are explored and evaluated. Furthermore, to understand the possibilities for grid-scale BESS in Sweden, a potential business setup for BESS is assessed and analyzed to identify preconditions for BESS to be attractive on the Swedish electricity market. The findings of the thesis indicate that grid flexibility is most likely going to be a considerable issue within 10-20 years. By the time of the potential nuclear phase out in Sweden, there will be major instabilities in the electricity grid if solutions are not in place. Therefore, keys to grid flexibility need to be evaluated and planned for well in advance, and the findings indicate that BESS could be a possible part of the solution. Until now, the regulatory framework has been perceived as rather unclear when it comes to energy storage, which has led to uncertainties among the market actors. These unclarities are about to be clarified with new laws and regulations, which will enable potential businesses for BESS. With the changes in the regulatory framework in place, we see an opportunity with new actors on the market. Our analysis shows that the BESS owner will most likely be a commercial actor, to enable utilization of a BESS for combined applications. An important factor, affecting the possibilities of implementing BESS on the Swedish electricity market, is the cost of BESS. We consider the cost aspect as vital for the likelihood of deploying BESS in Sweden. Based on our main findings, we conclude several preconditions for the deployment of BESS in Sweden. These are; decreased costs of BESS, acceptance from market actors, increased knowledge, a trading platform for grid services provided by a BESS, coordination between markets and electricity load forecasts. We believe that if these preconditions are fulfilled, Li-ion BESS has a chance to affect and have an impact on the Swedish electricity market.
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