Challenges and solutions in renewable energy storage deployment in municipalities
04 July 2023
Need for centralized system development
The municipality representatives emphasize the national importance of electricity storage over local energy communities due to political and national considerations. They suggest establishing a central team of experts to oversee environmental projects to expedite the transition to low-carbon energy systems and improve cost-effectiveness. The lack of knowledgeable individuals and professionals is a significant obstacle in adopting green energy, including energy storage infrastructure.
Future potential is recognized in batteries and hydrogen
The municipality has relatively good knowledge about batteries, evident from their integration of 10 kW batteries into the solar system. However, batteries remain expensive compared to their benefits, although municipality recognizes that the costs are relatively lower for initial investment due to capital availability for co-financing batteries and thermal energy storage. Knowledge of hydrogen is limited, but its potential for future applications, particularly in public transportation, is acknowledged. Since the municipality already uses biomass for heat generation, there is currently no focus on developing biomethane production and storage infrastructure.
Government funding and psychological hesitations from technological uncertainty are the main barriers in green energy adoption
Obtaining government funding for green energy projects is challenging for municipalities that have already achieved significant decarbonization, as funding is primarily based on CO2 emissions reduction. The lack of knowledge about available technologies and their benefits creates psychological barriers, hindering their adoption. Municipalities are hesitant to consider unfamiliar technologies without a clear approach, hence the Gulbene Municipality is waiting for further advancements and certainty in energy storage technology before considering its further implementation.
Learn more in a scientific publication developed for this project:
Dolge, Kristiāna, Toma, Annija Sintija, Grāvelsiņš, Armands and Blumberga, Dagnija. "Realizing Renewable Energy Storage Potential in Municipalities: Identifying the Factors that Matter" Environmental and Climate Technologies, vol.27, no.1, 2023, pp.271-288. https://doi.org/10.2478/rtuect-2023-0021
This article was prepared by Laura Kristiāna Vičmane, and interviews in Gulbene municipality were conducted by Annija Sintija Toma.