Department of Business Development and Technology

Towards a framework for evaluation of renewable energy storage projects: A study case of hydrogen and fuel cells in Denmark

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Renewable energy is characterized by its intermittency and a general dislocation between places of production and places of use. To overcome the intermittency, renewable energy storage (RES) is critical in the design of a future carbon-free society. More than 700 RES projects are in the pipeline worldwide, and market potentials are projected as immense. RES is complicated, and projects persistently fail to present operational scale of operations except for a few “classical” storage technologies: Variants of lead-acid batteries and pumped hydro-power reservoirs. Most RES projects are relying on governmental subsidies or high-risk venture capital. RES projects are along the energy agenda following an agenda of industrial development.
The research question of this paper is: Given the high degree of uncertainty and low degree of technological maturity in energy storage, how to design evaluation frameworks and approaches for energy storage projects?
The paper consists of:
(1) A literature review of evaluation frameworks for major technological transformations related to energy or more unrelated: main reference class forecasting (Flyvbjerg, 2006), OECD, IEA, and Jesus-Hitzschky (JTMI, 2007).
(2) A case study of the Danish Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells particularly with the focus on alkaline, PEM, SOEC and SOFC hydrolyzers and fuel cells.
The paper discusses the complex and paradoxical catch between the necessity to research and develop energy storage technologies against the existence of very few proven technologies and no major breakthrough under way.
The paper is suggesting a clearer assessment framework based on clearly identified incremental innovation management research design and the generic use of existing frameworks rather than project-to-project cross comparison and long trajectories as done today.
The papers findings contribute to improved assessment of RES technologies by emphasizing risk reduction and operational viability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th International Association of Management of Technology Conference
Number of pages15
Place of publicationCape Town
Publication year11 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2015
EventInternational Association for Management of Technology - University of Pretorie, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 8 Jun 201511 Jun 2015
Conference number: 24


ConferenceInternational Association for Management of Technology
LocationUniversity of Pretorie
LandSouth Africa
ByCape Town

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