IEA Energy Storage (ES)

The aim of the IEA Energy Storage (ES) Technology Programme is to enable integrated research, development, implementation and integration of energy storage technologies in order to optimise the energy efficiency of all types of energy systems and to promote the use of renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels.

Short Description

In the future, the demand for energy storage will increase significantly, which can be attributed to the discontinuous supply of renewable energy sources that are increasingly being used and the associated increase and decentralization of the supply portfolio. However, in order to achieve the overall goal of 100% renewable energy, only technologies available today for storing energy and system implementation approaches are insufficient. Targeted research, development and demonstration of storage techniques are essential.

Although the development in the energy sector is very heterogeneous, a trend is visible. All in all, wind and solar energy have significantly increasing capacities, while the share of fossil fuels, especially brown coal and hard coal, is declining. The integration of fluctuating energy forms in combination with a reduction in the number of baseload power plants requires large structural changes in transport and distribution networks. This requires solutions such as the development of storage capacities and / or flexibility in demand. For this reason, targeted research, development and demonstration of storage technologies are essential.

In addition, the future role of energy storage will become more complex and more important than today. In a growing number of applications, energy storage is an important key technology (e.g. e-mobility, decentralised self-sufficiency or integration of renewable energy sources) or rather a key technology that increases the added value and enables technological potentials in the form of sector coupling.

The two biggest innovation challenges for energy storage are:

  • Techno-economic improvement: reduction of investment costs, longer life, higher efficiency, compact design, safety
  • Economic-regulatory barriers: Non-discriminatory market access (equal competitive conditions), business models / market design, regulatory barriers (e.g. taxes), investment security in the event of uncertain market developments

Both challenges need to be addressed simultaneously. An efficient, low-carbon, sustainable and stable energy system requires the increased use of renewable energies and a high degree of flexibility in the form of storage technologies.

New energy storage systems of different technologies are also important for a sustainable energy system in Austria and must be developed in cooperation between research and industry and successfully integrated into the energy system. Since energy storage is a cross-cutting topic, the expert knowledge of many disciplines (energy supply and all end-use areas as well as distribution) must be taken into account. In order to use this widespread experience efficiently and to benefit from the resulting synergies, high-level coordination is necessary to develop appropriate work plans and research objectives.

ES is responsible for fulfilling this important task. The ES Strategic Plan therefore includes research activities (strategies for scientific research and development, dissemination and market introduction) and coordination activities (objectives and management).

Ongoing Tasks and Annexes

Completed Annexes



Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA

Contact Address

AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies
Christian Fink
Feldgasse 19
A-8200 Gleisdorf
Tel: +43 3112 5886-214

Sabine Mitter
Radetzkystraße 2
A-1030 Vienna
Tel: +43 1 71162-652915