Large batteries in Europe will reach 95 GW by 2050.

The role of utility energy storage systems continues to be overlooked in the transformation of the energy grid (photo: CC0 Public Domain)

In Europe, large batteries – those designed for utility-scale energy storage – will reach a total of 42 GW of capacity by 2030 and 95 GW by 2050, according to data from Aurora Energy Research. The capacity addition will take place thanks to investments of more than €70 billion between 2023 and 2050. More than 40% of the capital will be deployed by the end of 2030.

Batteries with more than four hours of storage capacity will make up 61% of total installed capacity in 2050, compared to 22% in 2025, Aurora Energy Research predicts in a new report. The analysis identifies Germany, the UK, Greece, Ireland and Italy as the most attractive markets in Europe due to policies, regulatory support, revenue generation opportunities and demand for low-carbon energy.

Greece, for example, has set the most ambitious battery energy storage targets in Europe: 6 GW by 2030. It is followed by Italy with a target of 3 GW by 2030.

However, the report states that there is still room for further growth in Europe’s large battery “fleet”. Aurora Energy Research notes that 14 of the 24 countries it assesses do not yet have any strategies, or at least defined goals, for deploying utility-scale energy storage systems. One of those countries is Germany, but the sheer scale of its rapidly growing renewable capacity makes it an attractive market for storage.

“Batteries represent an attractive investment opportunity in Europe’s energy sector,” said Ryan Alexander, head of European electricity market research at Aurora Energy Research. “There will undoubtedly be an advantage for investors in targeting this area early: the expected surge in demand for batteries in the coming decades is setting the stage for saturation, which could lead to declining revenues as markets become crowded.”

The release of the report coincides with a statement by European Commission Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, who highlighted the importance of energy storage to Europe’s decarbonisation efforts.

“We have many topics on the agenda. But storage is at the heart of building a decarbonised, flexible and cost-effective energy system through electrification and energy system integration,” Simson said last week. “The fact is that the role of storage is often overlooked,” he added.

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