Assessing the Role of Energy Storage in Multiple Energy Carriers toward Providing Ancillary Services: A Review

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Renewable energy power plants and transport and heating electrification projects are being deployed to enable the replacement of fossil fuels as the primary energy source. This transition encourages distributed generation but makes the grid more weather-dependent, thus reducing its inertia. Simultaneously, electrical network operators face voltage, frequency, and stability challenges at the distribution level. Networks were not designed to manage the stochasticity of renewable energy sources or the congestion caused by the new transport and heating demands. Such challenges are commonly addressed through infrastructure reinforcements. This review studies how energy storage systems with different carriers can provide a collaborative solution involving prosumers as ancillary services providers at the distribution level. We focused on the European urban context; thus, we analyzed renewable energy sources, batteries, supercapacitors, hydrogen fuel cells, thermal energy storage, and electric vehicles. A thorough review of successful implementations proved that including storage in one or more carriers benefits the distribution system operators and the prosumers, from both technical and economic perspectives. We propose a correlation between individual energy storage technologies and the ancillary services they can provide based on their responses to specific grid requirements. Therefore, distribution system operators can address network issues together with the prosumers. Nevertheless, attractive regulatory frameworks and business models are required to motivate prosumers to use their assets to support the grid. Further work is recommended to describe the joint operation of multiple storage technologies as multicarrier systems, focusing on the coupling of electrical and thermal energy storage. Additionally, how ancillary services affect the energy storage system’s aging should be studied.
Original languageEnglish
Article number379
Number of pages31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • ancillary services
  • battery energy storage
  • flexibility
  • multicarrier energy storage systems
  • thermal energy storage systems


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