Exploring emerging battery technology for grid-connected energy storage with Constructive Technology Assessment

Versteeg, T., M. Baumann, Marcel Weil, and António Moniz. "Exploring emerging battery technology for grid-connected energy storage with Constructive Technology Assessment." Technological Forecasting and Social Change 115 (2017): 99-110.


The last decades have shown an increasing amount of research into expectations of science and technology. Especially for emerging technologies, expectations held by different stakeholder are guiding the direction of research and development. In this article the results of an investigation into the expectations of specific actors regarding the development of emerging battery technology for applications in the power grid are presented. It is set up as an explorative study within the framework of Constructive Technology Assessment (CTA). A number of studies since the 1990s have indicated a growing need for energy storage options in the power grid, where batteries appear to be capable of providing a range of valuable services to the grid. Cost-effectiveness on a large scale will however require considerable technical improvements. The configuration of energy storage may differ in the specific location and exploitation of the storage assets, as well as in the investments in new storage capacity. In this study the visions and expectations of several relevant actors are analysed using interviews and surveys in terms of expectations of technological development, expectations concerning stakeholder roles, and channels of interaction between the relevant actors. The results indicate a divide in expectations between the user side of the technology (the electric power industry) and the development side (academic researchers). Opinions differ with respect to the obstacles to technological development, the actors relevant in early technological development, and the most suitable channels for interaction between these actors. It follows from the theoretical background that conflicts in expectations provide the opportunity for the acceleration of technological development and adoption through stakeholder participation. Small interactive workshops, where conflicts identified in this paper are discussed, were identified as a suitable channel in order to reach consensus in visions and expectations for battery technology.

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