Islands Could Be France’s Huge Battery Storage Opportunity

France’s mainland remains deeply reliant on nuclear power and a large majority of its existing continental energy storage comes in the form of pumped hydro. However, French companies have developed successful storage projects on the country’s islands and even abroad.

Saft, the French battery maker, has successfully installed battery systems coupled with a PV plant for storage in Réunion and Corsica. The company has recently been awarded a contract to develop a 520 kWh, 1 MW Li-ion battery system on Niijima, a Japanese island in the Philippine Sea.

McPhy Energy has also partnered with French startup Atawey to develop hydrogen storage systems specifically for the remote-site market, including island communities.

This large opportunity arises due to two main reasons: the real need for energy storage on France’s islands (eg Réunion used to rely on imported coal for 50% of its energy but aims to switch to renewables) and French protectionist industrial policies, which gives storage professionals easy access to offshore test beds, without competition from others.

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