By Sandra Acosta, El Periódico de la Energía
The situation facing both Spain and the EU offers a unique opportunity to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies and provide solutions for the decarbonization of industry. Thus, the Norway-based company, ENERGYNEST, has seen Spain, where it landed in 2019, as the ideal market to develop its thermal storage technology.
“Companies have either recently moved to Spain or are in the process of setting up here” has stated Christian Thiel, CEO of the company.
A year and a half ago, ENERGYNEST received the largest investment in a thermal energy storage company in the world. The British pension fund Infracapital invested 110 million euros in the company to support its expansion into other parts of Europe.
ENERGYNEST thus plans to produce energy in Spain and is in negotiations with industrial customers for the installation of its batteries, mainly in southern Spain, due to the solar production capacity of the area.
“The industrial market is so large in Spain that we believe it could be a leading player in terms of decarbonization. To achieve this, the country has enough natural resources, such as solar and wind energy” Thiel said.
Another reason why the storage company sees a wide range of opportunities in Spain is the aid that the Government has made available to advance the energy transition. “The Spanish Government has demonstrated its commitment towards the decarbonization of the economy. The most recent proof of this has been the approval of the PERTE decarbonization programme to finance investments to decarbonize industry, the payment of lower CO2 emission rights and a lower consumption of fossil fuels,” said Christian Thiel.
Alternative to gas
The industrial sector will play a key role in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy. However, it faces stringent requirements in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 emission reductions.
Many breweries, pet food manufacturers, chemical plants, pharmaceutical companies… spread across Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain or France work with natural gas as they need to generate heat and are running out of viable solutions to reduce their energy demand and their dependence on fossil fuel heat or electricity generation. The goal of thermal storage is to harness thermal energy generated from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, and use it efficiently to meet power needs.
To this end, ENERGYNEST has developed a technology called ThermalBattery that connects to stand-alone systems that use thermal oil or steam as a heat transfer fluid to charge and discharge green energy on demand. The company also points out that “since the modules are ready for immediate assembly and easy to install, construction times are significantly reduced and customers can enjoy the operational benefits faster”.