Spain and Portugal have joined forces to investigate how electricity produced by new sources of renewable energy is stored as waste, and with European funding they have €74m for a center whose model was presented on Thursday.
Clean energy storage operations, one of the biggest challenges facing the development of renewable energy sources and the so-called green economy, will be a major part of the work of this Iberian Center for Research in Energy Storage (Ciiae), based in Cáceres, in which would work with up to to 130 researchers.
said the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, minutes before the presentation in the capital of Cáceres, the final building model.
Accompanied by the Minister of Economy, Science and the Digital Agenda of Extremadura, Rafael Spain, Morant, in statements to the press, stated that the Center is a cutting-edge research center that “closes the circle of clean and renewable energies, hydrogen”.
Encouraged by the Governments of Spain and Portugal, as well as by the Executive Director of Extremadura, this center will focus on the studies of all cutting-edge technologies aimed at storing clean energy.
There are already 22 people
With an investment of 74 million euros, of which the Ministry of Science and Innovation contributed 58 million thanks to European funds from the Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience, and 16 million euros contributed by the Junta de Extremadura, the work of Ciiae will start this summer and those who point to the first of the three buildings will conclude in 2024.
In fact, this center will contain a research building of 7,100 square meters, a pilot plant of 4,000 square meters, and an incubator of 1,100 square meters for technology companies.
Meanwhile, the Polytechnic College of the University of Extremadura (UEx) is already being used as a temporary headquarters, where various laboratories for material characterization, storage, modeling, regulation and hydrogen operate.
In this university school, for this purpose, 22 researchers are already workingIt is estimated that before the end of 2023 there will be 130 researchers.
The main building will house these researchers and administrative staff, and will offer departments, research laboratories, offices, classrooms, and scientific and technical service units to support research and businesses.
The experimental station building will contain a scientific and technical infrastructure that guarantees flexibility and adaptability to renewable energy expansion projects and its integration with various energy storage technologies developed by the center or by third parties.
Finally, the technology incubator will consist of independent research laboratories, technical warehouses, interconnected offices, meeting rooms, and a management and organization area for companies in the renewable energy sector.
In Morant’s view, the challenge is to achieve cleaner, cheaper energy that takes better care of the planet, but also the challenge of achieving greater strategic autonomy; Hence, “investigating forms of energy storage is essential”.
“The Government of Spain has decided that the future lies in clean and renewable energy, which is cheaper and allows us to be less dependent on the outside world,” the minister said, stressing the importance of having an “energy strategy with greater independence.”
“The climate crisis denial is over, the time for reductions in science and the time for blocking the sun is over,” the minister said during the presentation of the model.
For his part, the Chancellor from Extremadura noted that Ciiae will allow the testing of research that originates in the Center, that comes from other countries or from private initiatives in the pilot plants of the same facilities of the Center itself.
In fact, five framework agreements have already been formalized with companies, one of which is related to shale hydroxide and hydrogen, and with a national electric company, although more than 200 companies already have the project for potential interest.
The center will combine fundamental research supported by the public sector, technological development driven by public-private collaboration and industrial innovation inside and outside Extremadura.