Current power grid and market development, characterized by large growth of distributed energy sources in recent years, especially in Europa, are according energy storage systems an increasingly larger field of implementation. Existing storage technologies, e.g. pumped-storage power plants, have to be upgraded and extended by new but not yet commercially viable technologies (e.g. batteries or adiabatic compressed air energy storage) that meet expected demands. Optimal sizing of storage systems and technically and economically optimal operating strategies are the major challenges to the integration of such systems in the future smart grid. This paper surveys firstly the literature on the latest niche applications. Then, potential new use case and operating scenarios for energy storage systems in smart grids, which have been field tested, are presented and discussed and subsequently assessed technically and economically.