Potential for Energy Storage in Combination with Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean

Feb 2014
Can energy storage (ES) increase the share of renewable energy (RE) in total generation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)? The rationale for using ES in combination with RE in the LAC region is that it can enable a larger scale deployment of cost-saving intermittent RE, with which the region is highly endowed, without threatening grid stability or the ability to meet electricity demand. To test this rationale, the paper considers three case studies that represent the key market types in LAC: a small off-grid town, a small island country, and a large interconnected market. ES technologies can increase the share of intermittent RE in total generation by: (i) providing backup power at times when intermittent RE technologies cannot generate power (to maintain grid stability); and/or (ii) providing energy management services that allow system operators to forecast when they will be able to use electricity from intermittent RE (to maintain the ability to meet electricity demand at all times).