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As the whole region continues to create and develop renewable energy initiatives and programmes, a large part of their attention has now been directed to the potential offered by storing produced energy--which could successfully result in the deployment of electricity on a non-stop 24-hour basis
This was the general opinion raised by some of the world's leading experts in the field of energy that took part in a special three-day activity focused on exploring the potential role of grid scale energy in the ongoing efforts to enable the effective use of renewable energy resources. The event, entitled 'Energy Storage Forum,' is the result of a strategic collaboration between the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), a joint stock company subscribed to by six Gulf States, in strategic collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the world’s pre-eminent independent, non-profit energy research and development organisation. The forum served as a strategic venue to discuss the many challenges that the energy industry is currently facing--like planning issues, deployment and difficulties faced in energy storage.
According to GCCIA senior officials, battery storage complements like lithium-ion batteries are now being seen as a highly feasible solution to the MIddle East region's continuing quest for promising energy storage technologies. This can also be attributed to the decreased cost of lithium, longer storage capabilities and lifetime expectancy. In line with this, participants at the forum were presented with a five-pronged set of points to be addressed--the potential of energy storage in energy transformation; the current state of the world's market in energy storage; the presence of opportunities and challenges in key areas across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region; the sharing of lessons and experiences gained in energy storage and the creation of a strategic roadmap for the development and further growth of the energy storage segment.
In his welcome address to the event, Ahmed Al Ebrahim, CEO, GCCIA, said, "The forum is a collaboration with EPRI, focusing on energy storage at both a regional and global scale. The need to discover energy storage solutions is a common goal shared by both the GCCIA and EPRI--we should seriously consider this and this event will allow us to learn more and address the challenges of energy storage."
The first day of the event featured a keynote message from Arshad Mansoor, president & CEO, EPRI, on the achievement of a sustainable power sector. This was followed by a panel discussion on sustainability in the power sector wherein panelists tackled the economical aspect of energy storage--which is to provide an overview of energy storage, market drivers, applications, cost-benefit considerations, technologies, and deployment considerations.
Afternoon sessions of the second day were highlighted with case studies highlighting real world experiences related to energy storage deployment and the key considerations for safety, reliability, and economics. The day was capped off with a discussion featuring the practical applications associated with hydrogen production, storage and utilisation.