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Sharing economy as a new business model for energy storage systems

: Lombardi, Pio; Schwabe, Felix


Applied energy 188 (2017), S.485-496
ISSN: 0306-2619
ISSN: 1872-9118
Fraunhofer IFF ()

Energy storage systems (ESS) are the candidate solution to integrate the high amount of electric power generated by volatile renewable energy sources into the electric grid. However, even though the investment costs of some ESS technologies have decreased over the last few years, few business models seem to be attractive for investors. In most of these models, ESS are applied only for one use case, such as primary control reserve. In this study, a business model based on the sharing economy principle has been developed and analyzed. In this model, the energy storage operator offers its storage system to different kinds of customers. Each customer uses the ESS for their single use case. A set of different use cases has been identified to make the operation of the ESS profitable (e.g. peak shaving, self-consumption and day-ahead market participation). Different kinds of stationary batteries (lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur and vanadium redox-flow) have been considered as energy storage technologies, which differ both in their investment costs and their technical properties, such as round-trip efficiency. The simulation of the business model developed showed that a sharing economy-based model may increase the profitability of operating a battery storage system compared to the single use case business model. Additionally, larger battery dimensions regarding power and capacity were found to be profitable and resulted in an increased revenue stream.