Energy storage is seen by power industry professionals as the most vitally important area for the European electricity sector over the next two decades.
A new poll - the POWER-GEN Confidence Index - asked more than 800 power players to rank the areas which they felt were most important to the European power market, firstly in the next 10 years, and then in the next 20.
Energy storage topped the list in both categories – with 38 per cent of votes for the period to 2026 and rising to 41 per cent for the period to 2036.
Electric vehicles and their related infrastructure came in at number 13 in the ten-year timeframe but rose to number five when looking 20 years ahead.
Similarly, smart cities was number 18 (25 per cent) over ten years but jumped ten places to number eight (33 per cent) over 20 years.
Coal-fired generation came bottom of the 24-category list over both timeframes.
Wave and tidal technologies came second from bottom with 5 per cent over ten years, and while rising only one place over 20 years, nevertheless polled 22 per cent of respondents, showing that the technology is seen as one that will eventually come to figure in the European energy mix.
Carbon capture and storage was similarly viewed, scoring 7 per cent of votes over the next ten years but increasing to 26 per cent over two decades.
The POWER-GEN Confidence Index surveyed 833 power players, ranging from chairman and chief executives to on-the-ground engineers, who work in all sectors of the energy industry.