Energy Storage is going to be a vital part of the UK’s energy generation and distribution system, helping smooth out intermittency of renewable generation systems and ensuring consistent supply on the grid. The electricity sector is currently undergoing its biggest transformation for over half a century. The necessity to bring in renewable energy generation sources, coupled with the associated adjustments required to the distribution network (allowing these sources to contribute to the national grid) means energy storage is integral to these major changes.
The world will witness an international mega shift towards energy storage – batteries in particular – within the next 10 years according to ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency). Further, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, energy annual investment in storage systems will increase six-fold to £6.7 billion in 2024, and to £197 billion by 2040.
Energy Storage is not new; it has been around for a very long time, in fact over 200 years, ever since Alessandro Volta invented the very first battery. The vast applications of Battery storage have not been lost either, from electric cars to battery storage for the national grid; battery storage has long been touted as the next big thing that never materialised. The reasons for this are simple – technology and cost. Whilst the theory of all of these applications was possible and proven, it was simply usurped by cheaper and more effective technology. That has now changed and not only can battery storage compete, it is now becoming much better.
The best example of this would be Tesla Electric Vehicle’s; just 15 years ago Electric Vehicles were effectively very expensive, glorified golf buggies. Today Tesla is producing electric cars that are cost competitive, can travel over 300 miles on a single charge, and in the case of the Tesla Model S P100D can do 0 – 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, that’s the same as the $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron. Battery storage on a home level and national level is also experiencing the same advancements.
Energy storage now looks as though it has reached the tipping point and will be one of the fastest growing sectors within renewable energy, which is the fastest growing industry in the world.