Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of a report that encourages European governments to scale-up their pumped storage capacity.

The report – tabled by Claudia Gamon MEP – calls on EU member states to fully explore their energy storage potential looking for a range of solutions including pumped hydro. It also requests the European Commission develops a comprehensive strategy on storage in line with renewables targets.

Backed by 557 MEPS, with just 22 voting against, the report makes recommendations  on removing regulatory barriers to pumped storage projects, identifying things like double-charging, tax and permitting obstacles that can delay or hinder market uptake.

In the report, EU member states are urged to seek ways to enhance their pumped storage capacity. The report also points to the opportunities and environmental benefits of upgrading existing capacity for storage applications.

“The resounding vote by the European Parliament recognises the obvious: we need more energy storage,” commented Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA). “That will not happen by magic. European politicians have a huge opportunity as part of green economic stimulus packages to facilitate pumped storage hydro development through enabling policies and incentivising markets." 

According to IHA’s 2020 Hydropower Status Report, the European region – including non-EU member states such as the United Kingdom and Turkey – has a total installed capacity of 55 gigawatts. Reflecting the slow growth in additional pumped storage capacity, just four MW of additional capacity was added across the region in 2019.