Challenge #1: Interoperability

Cami Dodge-Lamm, FifthVolt

Interoperability. It’s not always the first topic covered when debating the acceleration of the battery market in Europe. So why is it so important? In the absence of interoperability, across manufacturers, the innovation layer between batteries and the market cannot develop efficiently. Consumers’ energy storage systems (ESS) & electric vehicles (EVs) should be able to participate and provide their flexibility in the electricity marketplace. Currently, they cannot.

Therefore, interoperability interfaces for battery management systems need to be an integral part of product design. Otherwise, there is a risk of high implementation costs, the time to market is prolonged, and system benefits are delayed. Deployment of ESS & EV’s flexibility services should be seamless like installing new printer – plug it into a power socket, login to a wireless network and start offering flexibility services to any electricity market player. Sounds good, right? So, what is the hold-up?

Several interoperability standards already exist on the market, but then there is no agreement on which standards to use and how to use them. The debate has not even happened. How can we overcome the challenges to interoperability? Is anyone addressing this?

By identifying and agreeing upon the most important interoperability standards, this will allow for a seamless and secure connection between batteries from all EU manufacturers, the digital layer of battery innovation (e.g. platform systems), and consumers. Interoperability standardization would mark an important step towards the integration of battery storage for European energy services and harness the full potential of a flexible, reliable electrical grid system. It would also contribute to the concrete implementation of some of the EU’s Clean Energy Package measures, thus contributing to GHG emission reduction, job creation, and robustness of the EU battery sector.

Interoperability standardization is a priority for the European Battery Alliance (EBA), a group of stakeholders within the European battery industry and full value chain. This important aspect of the battery market has been designated as one of the top 18 recommendations with corresponding action items from the EBA. The outcomes of the action item for interoperability (action item 12a) will serve as the foundation of the digital layer of the electricity value chain. FifthVolt believes is a crucial step towards gaining a competitive advantage over Asian & American battery manufacturers and enabling the European businesses, stakeholders, and consumers to tap into the 250 Billion EUR battery market.


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