VIDEO: What’s happened in UK energy storage since 2017

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Find out what’s been going on in the UK energy storage market over the past three years, presented by not-for-profit clean energy expert group Regen at the Virtual Energy Storage Summit which took place online in late September.

With Regen having published special study papers on the state of development of the energy storage market in Britain from market segment development to business models and regulation, head of technical development Ray Arrell presents ‘Revisiting the next wave’.

The session takes a look back at the group’s 2017 report, ‘Energy storage: the next wave’, and describes how far the market has come, and how far there still is to go if the UK is to achieve net zero goals, ensure reliability of the electricity network and create economically viable use cases for batteries and other storage.

Back then, Regen compared the UK energy storage sector to an “unsolved Rubik’s Cube(tm)”, where many of the factors enabling storage to progress, whether it’s technology, sources of income and revenue, financing, policy and regulation were all starting to emerge and see some progress – but potentially they weren’t all lined up.

To push the analogy further, technology, timescales, costs and finance and revenue streams were identified as the “hands driving the cube”. It was hoped, Ray Arrell says, that things would snap into place and the faces of that cuboid puzzle align.

Business models in residential, commercial and utility-scale. Unsurprisingly the pipeline waiting to be connected to the transmission network in 2017 was “pretty small” – the UK now has a “significant pipeline” waiting to connect to the transmission network. Yet there are still no batteries connected to the transmission network besides 250MW of embedded generation.

Three years ago, only five projects totalling 28MW were connected to the distribution network, with around 6GW of accepted connection offers and enquiries or offers. Since then, 57 sites, totalling 772MW have been connected to the distribution network. A pipeline several times that in capacity and project numbers have accepted connection offers. In a high growth scenario, Regen forecasts that 12GW power capacity of projects could be grid-connected by 2030.

Watch the video below, and learn more about topics including:

  • The growth of co-location 
  • Finding a role for net zero flexibility sources in the balancing mechanism 
  • Plans to simplify flexibility markets at transmission operator level 
  • Batteries’ strong presence in tendering of local flexibility services
  • Policy developments including a move to lift a planning threshold of 50MW for energy storage projects 
  • Barriers that still need to be overcome including regulatory definition of storage, high business rates and the lack of targets of coordinating overall direction from government – how much storage, where and when 

Hosted by our publisher Solar Media, the summit also featured two days of special events on co-location of solar and energy storage and Ray also focuses on how the market has recently turned its focus onto co-located or hybrid projects. Followed by a Q&A with the audience, moderated by Solar Media event producer Lucy Jacobson-Durham. 

The sixth annual Energy Storage Summit hosted by Solar Media takes place in February 2021. See the website for more details

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