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Energy Storage May Save the U.K. Billions by 2030

14 March 2016

If the potential of energy storage technologies come to fruition, it could save the United Kingdom a system-wide savings of up to $3.35 billion by 2030, according to new research from environmental group Carbon Trust. Under various scenarios by the group, if the addition of energy storage was adopted in high demand it could unlock system cost savings that could be passed on to domestic customers to reduce the average household electricity bill by up to 50 pounds per year. This scenario provides for the boost of wind turbine and solar electric panels, as well as the curbing of upgrades to the electricity grid.

Andrew Lever, director of innovation at the Carbon Trust, said that balancing energy storage services along with making electricity networks more efficient could help the U.K. to meet its carbon targets the government has established. According to Lever, energy storage defies conventional knowledge because it exists outside the regulatory frameworks that have been designed around the energy system where power is supplied to consumers from large centralized power stations.

“We have now reached a stage where the technologies are looking promising, but will face challenges in deployment due to an outdated market framework,” said Lever. “An urgent rethink is needed so we can address and overcome the broken value chain of energy storage, which is essential if Britain is to provide low carbon energy at the lowest cost to the consumer.” Carbon Trust says deploying storage could deliver a cost savings of up to $9.85 billion in 2030 with $2.82 billion coming from the energy storage technologies and a further $7.02 billion from improved use of existing generation assets and optimized and reduced investment in new low carbon generation assets.

Energy storage helps to balance the demands on the energy grid by absorbing energy and then releasing it to support capacity constraints and to balance the influx of intermittent and/or inflexible low carbon technologies onto the grid, the company said. However, the research from Carbon Trust indicates that at the current time, despite the technology readiness, the split across network stakeholders makes it difficult for a single solution to develop a business case. The incompatible market structure has reduced the commercial viability of storage for investors by increasing risk and reducing revenue potential.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@ihs.com

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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