Collaboration with NAM is certain to accelerate the Dutch energy transition
Utrecht, June 6, 2018 – Storelectric Ltd. from the United Kingdom is the winner of the NAM70 Challenge. Their innovative solution for large-scale storage of renewable energy using current infrastructure, convinced the jury unanimously. Storelectric will receive €50,000 and implement the proposed innovation together with NAM. Consequently, the energy transition in the Netherlands will take a big step forward. Large-scale energy storage is a crucial factor for accelerating the energy transition in our country.
The winning innovation
The technology used by Storelectric is Compressed Air Energy Storage. This enables a surplus of wind or solar power to be stored for use when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. This takes place under the ground where the surplus energy is used to store air in salt caverns, a type of underground reservoir. The air is then compressed to store energy. When the energy is needed the air is released. The pressure difference generates usable energy again.
In addition to Storelectric, Proton Ventures from The Netherlands and Eco-Tech Ceram from France also competed for this place.
These three innovative companies signed up for the NAM70 Challenge, a NAM initiative which challenged growth companies, so-called scale-ups, working with new technologies to work on large-scale storage of sustainable energy. Storage of renewable energy is becoming crucial to maintaining the stability of the future energy system and balancing supply and demand throughout the seasons.
The jury assessed the solutions for innovation, applicability, social importance, scalability and several other factors. Ultimately this winner was a unanimous choice. The jury commented: “We were extremely impressed with the pitched solutions of all 3 nominees. After an intense deliberation we have decided to choose Storelectric as the winner. Our decision is based on the possibilities the solution offers for large scale storage of renewable energy. Furthermore, the solution offers the possibility to be implemented on existing NAM locations. We view Storelectric’s solution as a game-changer that has the potential to speed up the energy transition.
The jury comprised Manon Janssen (CEO Ecorys/Ambassador of Topsector Energie), Tim van der Hagen (President of the Executive Board at TU Delft), Gertjan Lankhorst (Chairman of The Association for Energy, Environment and Water/Managing Director of the New Energy Coalition), Nynke Dalstra (CFO Royal HaskoningDHV) and Gerald Schotman (NAM Managing Director/President of KIVI).
“Given the challenges and ambitions that the Netherlands faces with the current energy transition, I am delighted that we have taken a concrete step towards accelerating it today. No company or organisation, including NAM, can solve this on its own, together is our motto. Today shows that combining knowledge, expertise and innovation helps us to move forward as a country. I’m very proud of that. We are looking forward to further collaboration with Storelectric to shape this solution over the coming months,” said Gerald Schotman.
“It was certainly not an easy choice. The other two candidates also demonstrated fantastic innovations. I am convinced that their solutions will also be of added value for other parties in the Netherlands and the same goes for a number of the original 45 international entrants. Where we see opportunities and connections, we will certainly pursue them. We will tackle the energy transition together. In other words, this NAM70 Challenge has made us hungry for more,” continued Gerald.
Large-scale energy storage crucial
Storage is one of the major challenges concerning sustainable energy. The sun shines in summer and during the day. The peak demand for energy is in the evening and during winter. The period of frosty weather, last winter, showed how important underground gas storage is to meeting the increased demand. So it is important to develop a sustainable equivalent for this as quickly as possible, that not only works on NAM systems but can ultimately be deployed more broadly. This NAM70 Challenge also provides a springboard for growth companies to make their solutions workable in practice and scale them up to the required level.
The NAM70 Challenge was organised in the context of the 70th anniversary of NAM, which was all about concrete steps to accelerate the energy transition.