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A new standard methodology for assessing the environmental impact of stationary energy storage systems (LCA-SESS)

Solutions that favor increased flexibility, resilience and robustness in the energy system, and that can help to avoid volatilities in the electricity market so that variable supply can be matched to a varying demand at competitive prices, are needed. A key potential solution is the installation of stationary energy storage systems (SESS). The installation of SESS can enhance the resiliency of the system by providing ancillary services in support of the transmission system operation (e.g. frequency regulation and black start services). SESS can also be used for investment deferral, such as for energy shifting, and for transmission and distribution congestion relief. Furthermore, when co-located with wind or solar power installations (both centralized or distributed), SESS can help in reducing curtailment, as well as for capacity firming. With Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIBs) being the most commercially used technology, their environmental impact resulting from the usage of the LIB for SESS has not been widely studied via LCA. Furthermore, there are no standard methodologies or guidelines for performing LCA of LIB SESS, with most studies available excluding end-of-life considerations.

Aim and objectives

  • Develop, verify and assess a new cradle-to-grave LCA methodology tailored for environmental impact assessment of stationary energy storage systems (SESS) based on lithium-ion batteries (LIB) technology.
  • Produce eco-design recommendations for manufacturers
  • Support different regulatory and policy stakeholder, from policy-makers to project developers and clients with recommendations for most sustainable energy storage system installation and operation

The overall aim of this project is to develop, verify and assess a new cradle-to-grave LCA methodology tailored for environmental impact assessment of stationary energy storage systems (SESS) based on lithium-ion batteries (LIB) technology, comprising steps tailored to the specific SESS use-stages and end-of-life alternatives. The latter including recycling.

This in turn, will enable to deliver eco-design recommendations for manufacturers, and ultimately to provide sound recommendations for the scientific and industrial communities, as well as for policy makers in Sweden and in EU. In doing so, the project aims to engage all relevant stakeholders in the LIB and SESS value chains, strengthening the long-term competitiveness of Swedish industry in the battery area, and to thereby represent a stepping-stone towards the adoption of SESS in support of the global climate agenda. For this purpose, methodological aspects are paramount in order to have the closest assessment to the real life cycle of the LIB SESS. This will be realized by carrying out comparisons between the existing standards and the new proposed methodology, together with direct input from one of the key LIB SESS manufacturers.

Project partners:

KTH, Northvolt AB, Swedish Energy Agency

Funded by:

Swedish Energy Agency under grant agreement N° 52022-1 (Batterifondsprogrammet)

Timeframe: July 2021 – December 2024


Publications coming out of this project will be available through Diva.


Recycling of end-of-life wind blades through renewable energy driven molten salt pyrolysis process
I-UPS — Innovative High Temperature Heat Pump for Flexible Industrial Systems
FLUWS — Flexible Upcycled Waste Material based Sensible Thermal Energy Storage for CSP
STAMPE – Space Turbines Additive Manufacturing Performance Evaluation
Digital Twin for smart grid connected buildings
PED StepWise — Participatory Step-by-Step Implementation Process for Zero Carbon District Concepts in Existing Neighbourhoods
ADiSS — Aeroelastic Damping in Separated Flows
MERiT — Methane in Rocket nozzle cooling channels - conjugate heat Transfer measurements
CARE – Cavity Acoustics and Rossiter modEs
SCO2OP-TES – sCO2 Operating Pumped Thermal Energy Storage for grid/industry cooperation
POWDER2POWER (P2P) – MW-scale fluidized particle-driven CSP prototype demonstration
eLITHE – Electrification of ceramic industries high temperature heating equipment
DETECTIVE – Development of a Novel Tube-Bundle-Cavity Linear Receiver for CSP Applications
USES4HEAT – Underground Large Scale Seasonal Energy Storage for Decarbonized and Reliable Heat
ADA – Aggressive Duct Aerodynamics
VIFT — Virtual Integrated Fan and Turbine
HECTAPUS — Heating Cooling Transition and Acceleration with Phase Change Energy Utilization Storage
SUSHEAT — Smart Integration of Waste and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Heat Upgrade in the Industry
Analysis of PV system in Sweden
EVAccel — Accelerating the Integration of Electric Vehicles in a Smart and Robust Electricity Infrastructure
Towards Sustainable Energy Communities: A Case Study of Two Swedish Pilot Projects
HYBRIDplus – Advanced HYBRID solar plant with PCM storage solutions in sCO2 cycles
SHARP-SCO2 – Solar Hybrid Air-sCO2 Power Plants
RIHOND – Renewable Industrial Heat On Demand
A turnkey solution for Swedish buildings through integrated PV electricity and energy storage (PV-ESS)
A new standard methodology for assessing the environmental impact of stationary energy storage systems (LCA-SESS)
EleFanT – Electric Fan Thruster
Circular Techno-Economic Analysis of Energy Storage– IEA Annex Co-coordination
Optimization of Molten Salt Electric Heaters
FLEXnCONFU: Flexiblize Combined Cycle Power Plants through Power To-X Solutions using Non-Conventional Fuels
ARIAS - Advanced Research Into Aeromechanical Solutions
PILOTS4U – A network of bioeconomy open access pilot and multipurpose demo facilities
Cavity Purge Flows inside axial turbines
Effective thermal storage systems for competitive Stirling-CSP plants
ENFLOW: Energy flow metering of natural and biogas for residential applications
H2020 Pump Heat
BRISK II – Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II
Improved flue gas condensate treatment in MSW incineration via membrane distillation
Integrated modelling and optimization of coupled electricity and heating networks
Membrane distillation for advanced wastewater treatment in the semiconductor industry
Microgrid for Tezpur University
Smart and Robust Electricity Infrastructure for the Future