The Electricity Storage Network
 
 
The Electricity Storage Network

updated 13 Feb 2014

It's official - Government is committed to energy storage!

 

The Rt Hon Greg Barker MP, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said today:

"although there are many terrific technologies I could choose to expand upon today, I want to highlight our commitment to driving one in particular. One that has the potential to play a revolutionary role in our future energy system – energy storage."

Speaking at the Cleantech Event, he also announced the award of an £8 million project for Highview and Viiridor to construct a 5 MW energy storage plant.

 

Photo courtesy of Highview Power Storage. 

Ian Morrish, Viridor's Landfill Energy Director (Left)
Gregory Barker, Minister of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) (Middle)
Gareth Brett, CEO, Highview Power Storage (right)

The DECC announcement on the Energy storage innovation competition is here

Also announced today:  see the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group report

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO MAKE IT HAPPEN?

An open symposium on developing the market for electricity storage

Wednesday 29 January 2014

The Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA

 

One of the many highlights of this symposium organised by the Electricity Storage Network was a rare opportunity to catch up with a friend from across the pond. California Public Utilities Commissioner, Carla Peterson, dialled in to discuss her views on energy storage and the recent California mandate. Carla joined the symposium to provide an overview of the energy storage mandate and advice on the main drivers behind the decision. It was explained that California’s mandate for energy storage includes transmission storage, distribution storage and customer side storage. The main drivers behind the mandate include California’s commitment to renewable generation, which includes a Renewable Portfolio Standard of 33% by 2020 (already at 20%), the reduction of greenhouse gasses overall and ensuring that energy storage is both cost effective and viable. It was of course questioned why a mandate was needed at all if energy storage is in fact both cost effective and viable, to which Carla replied that, without a mandate, “with permitting and developing the rules, it could take 5-7 years to really get things going and if we want this by 2020 we have to start now”. Carla was also asked if any priority will be given to manufacturers or developers from California, to which she replied “not explicitly in the decision or the statue” resulting in some happy faces amongst the UK audience.

 

Back on this side of the pond, “We just need a simple structure that pays for storage,” said one of the delegates, “let’s avoid the complexity and come up with a simple approach.” This was not a lone voice in the crowd, but represented the views of many delegates, who were clearly not happy with the way that the electricity storage industry has been pushed to the side-lines by successive government departments. 

 

The symposium debated a wide range of issues concerning the future development of the electricity storage industry, particularly in the UK.  Starting with a review of the current status of storage projects under the aegis of the Distribution Network Operators taking advantage of the funding from the Low Carbon Network Fund, it is clear that there are a broad range of technologies available, for use in a very wide range of applications, and storage is something that cannot be ignored in a low carbon world.  Sally Fenton, from DECC’s innovation team announced the present status of the DECC Innovation funding for storage, and speculated that there would be a further announcement very soon of a major storage project.  Such good news is tempered by the realisation that there is not enough joined up thinking in Number 3 Whitehall Place, hence the call by the Electricity Storage Network for a single point of contact in Government for energy storage.

 

Gathering further information from Dora Guzavela of OFGEM, and Jane Ellaway from DECC’s EMR team, delegates were able to put their policies under the microscope.  After hearing from National Grid, one of the most significant purchasers of energy storage services in the country, and from First Hydro, the major pumped storage operator, it was time to hear the views of others in the industry.  Quarry Battery – a potential developer of pumped hydro, saw themselves not as a competitor taking market share from their larger rival, but as a participant in a very necessary and potentially fast growing market.  The importance of the valuation of the market was made abundantly clear by Mike Wilks of Poyry Management Consulting as he took current policy through the washing machine.  A quick wash showed that storage was necessary, the deep soak demonstrated that the current method of market valuation left much to be desired, and nothing short of a full spin was necessary to position storage to be ready for the low carbon challenges that the Government desperately wants to meet.

 

There was no shortage of ideas coming from the meeting:  perhaps the most significant is the suggestion that tariffs and credits for renewables should only be allocated to operators who include storage in their portfolio. 

 

It was clear from the California experience that storage has arrived in many other countries, and the UK needs to set out a strategy to develop storage if it is not to be left behind.  The Electricity Storage Network is putting its weight behind gaining a single point of contact in government to be responsible for storage and working with that group to develop a coherent and meaningful strategy.

Presentation materials from the symposium, including a video recording of the discussion with Commissioner Carla Peterman are available through our weblinks:  please see www.electricitystorage.co.uk/developingthemarket

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

This symposium follows the publication of the Electricity Storage Networks infographic calling for a government target of 2000 MW of new electricity storage by 2020. Electrical energy storage should be an important part of the strategy for the future operation of the power network, balancing the requirements for sustainability, reliability and economy.

More than 23 advanced electrical energy storage projects have been installed, constructed or planned in the UK since 2008, and it is no longer a question of waiting for technology, but a question of declaring a strategy for development of storage.  The Electricity Storage Network is calling for the right commercial context in the electricity market, beyond the current rounds of support from OFGEM’s Low Carbon Network Fund and the DECC’s Innovation Competition.  Join the debate on how to create a market for electrical energy storage and develop a policy framework that turns the good ideas into commercial reality.

90 delegates from across the industry attended this symposium, run by the Electricity Storage Network to evaluate current policies, debate future actions and set out a strategy for encouraging growth in electricity storage. With critical changes in the structure of the nation’s energy market taking place, now is the right time for the industry to come together to tackle this important issue.

Topics debated in this symposium included:

  • Balancing the need for large scale and small scale storage
  • The impact of wind power and solar
  • Subsidies for renewables which may distort the market
  • Targets for electricity storage
  • Developing a market for storage services in the power markets of the UK?
  • Learning from other countries?

 

The programme may be downloaded here

 

09:00

Registration and Refreshments

SESSION 1:                                                                                                              SETTING THE SCENE

10.00

Chairman's Welcome and Introduction:   A UK Strategy for Electricity Storage

Ian Arbon, Senior Partner, Engineered Solutions and Chairman of Renewable Power Committee of the I Mech E

 

The United Kingdom’s State of Charge

Peter Lang, UK Power Networks

Overview of LCNF funded projects in electricity storage and future opportunities for network operators to develop storage

 

 Innovation, electricity storage and the energy sector

Sally Fenton,  DECC

Review of the Innovation competition and other DECC funding for storage

Future intentions for support of technology development and linkage to market mechanisms

The system perspective

Philip Lawton, 2020 Operations Manager, National Grid

 

11:30

Refreshments

11:50

Existing storage operating in the market

Simon Lord, First Hydro, GDF Suez

The policy implications of electricity storage as a component of the Smart Grid?

John Christie, Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Dora Guzeleva, Head of Networks Policy, OFGEM

 

The role of electricity storage in a reformed electricity market in GB

Jane Ellaway, Design Lead, Security of Electricity Supply,  DECC

 

12.50

Discussion

13:00

Lunch


SESSION 2:                                                   GETTING ELECTRICITY STORAGE ONTO THE SYSTEM

14.00

Can we leave storage to the market?

Mike Wilks: Pöyry Energy Consulting

 

A new entrant's view

Peter Taylor, Quarry Battery

 

Large and small scale storage on the distribution network

Philip Bale, Western Power Distribution

 

Followed by a Panel session  with other speakers and representatives of industry sectors

15:30

Refreshments

15:50

The Californian Target for Energy Storage

Carla Peterman, Commissioner. California Public Utilities Commission (By video link)

16:30

How does the UK developing its energy storage business?

16:50

Chairman’s closing comments

17:00

End of seminar

 

 

DECC energy storage competition announcement

The first tranche of winners in the DECC energy storage competition have now been announced:  congratulations to ESN member REDT, who has been awarded £3.6 million to build and demonstrate their flow battery system.  We also congratulate Goodwolfe Energy and Moixa Power on their projects.

The weblink is here

We applaud all the winners in the competition - the total of £5 million awareded is great news, but we continue to press the government to ensure that there is a role for electricity storage in the electricity market of the future.

 

 

The Electricity Storage Network calls for a national strategy for electricity storage as it presses for a 2000 MW target for additional electrical energy storage.

With an increasing interest in all forms of energy storage, and electricity storage in particular, the Electricity Storage Network's campaign for a national strategy continues to gain attention.  Electricity storage should be a key part of our electricity system, and a plan to increase the use of storage is essential if we are to benefit from this important technology.

The Electricity Storage Network has published its Infographic, which may be downloaded from this site.

If you have a large
format printer, such
as A3 download
If you have an A4 or
equivalent printer, you
may wish to download
For on screen viewing,
please follow this link
View/Download PDF View/Download PDF ESN Infographic

 

Electricity Storage and Electricity Market Reform

Update:  31 July 2013

During the committee stage of the Energy Bill, there was a debate for about one hour on energy and electricity storage.  You can view the debate here        The amendment covering electricity storage starts at 1 h 43 min into the debate.

Lord Stephen introduced his amendment, he set out the background to why storage is important:

"Making major inroads into reducing our reliance on fossil fuels for transport and heating will require even more renewable energy and, almost certainly, even more renewable electricity. One of the most important answers and, I would argue, the most central one, is storage. I do not know what sort of storage it will be but it will probably be big.....

"We will place more and more reliance on renewable generation, but the output from both solar photovoltaic and wind generation is time variable. Photovoltaic is the best example of that. This means that we need a method to balance the output to make it useful for our electricity system. There are suggestions that the problem could be solved by more interconnectors and adding more flexible gas fire generation through the capacity payments system, switching demand or just averaging out the renewable generation over the whole country. However, recent reports to DECC point out that interconnectors cannot be relied on as a source for balancing services and demand response is not a complete solution.

Electricity storage is a perfectly valid and achievable method to provide system balancing. It can absorb and reject power and act as reserve capacity to cover short or long-term interruptions. Through trading, it smoothes prices and so reduces the overall system cost. By reducing the peak demands on the system, it lowers the investment costs of our distribution networks; by absorbing energy from our wind farms and PV installations at times of low demand, storage lowers the carbon intensity of our electricity industry. Electricity storage remains one technology that does not receive support or any form of secure income stream under the Energy Bill proposals."

He referred to our target of 2 GW of new electricity storage by 2020 and asked for Government support for that point.

Viscount Hanworth supported the need for storage, with illustrations of the value of pumped hydro and other technologies

Baroness Worthington provided a very complete summary of a range of storage technologies, applications and installations, and raised the very important issue of ownership and operation of electricity storage under the present licensing conditions.

She pointed out:

"What the sector is really looking for is a clear signal that it will be able to participate in the capacity mechanism and that there will be a way in which it can compete against the other potential sources of capacity that will be brought forward. The problem is that we are dealing with what is essentially quite a new set of technologies which is facing all the challenges that you would associate with that. Potentially, these technologies could be commercially viable, but they are not yet. How can they compete in a capacity market that essentially seeks to be technology neutral and provide one price for all? This is a contradiction in the proposals being made by the Government that really needs to be thought through."

 

In reply, the Minister, Baroness Verma said:

"The Government agree that technologies that can be used to help balance the supply and demand of electricity, such as energy storage systems and demand-side response and interconnection, are increasingly likely to be required. This was the conclusion in DECC’s report, Electricity System: Assessment of Future Challenges, which was published in August 2012.

Energy storage systems can be used to store surplus electrical energy for use at times of high demand. They help to match the supply and demand of electricity efficiently and cost-effectively. Technology companies in the UK and elsewhere are actively developing energy storage systems which could help to address the problems associated with intermittency of supply. However, different energy storage technologies are currently at different stages of development and further innovation and development is needed to reduce the costs and thus make storage technologies applicable to wider deployment.

The department therefore identified energy storage systems as a priority area for funding under its Innovation Programme. We then consulted with storage technology developers and users, as well as other public sector innovation funders, before developing a plan to help support the development of storage systems. This led, in October 2012, to the department launching two innovation competitions to support research, development and demonstration of energy storage systems. As a result of these competitions, funding has already been awarded to 16 energy storage projects, and in the autumn DECC expects to announce details of up to

our energy storage demonstration pilots, which it will be supporting during the current spending review period. The aim of these pilot projects is to demonstrate the scope for cost reduction of innovative energy storage technologies and to explore the opportunities for deployment of energy storage technologies to address a wide range of future UK electricity network balancing and other storage needs.

Although the amendment was not passed, the Minister concluded by saying:

 the department is taking this matter very seriously and that there is considerable work in hand without a statutory requirement.

The extract from the Lords Hansard for the grand Committee Debate for 30 July may be read here

______________________________________________________________________________

Update 19 July

We continue to press for increased recognition of the role of electricity storage within our power systems.  Unfortunately there seems to be a barrier to opening policy makers' minds: Although electricity storage may be able to operate within the Capacity Market in Great Britain, this alone does not provide the incentive for deployment of electricity storage at the scale that we need.  An extract from the Lords Hansard ( the account of parliamentary business ) for 18 July may be read here.

Lord Grantchester asked:

"As our system includes more variable renewable generation, it will become increasingly important to encourage electricity storage.

The Government are currently directing £50 million into grid scale research and demonstrations in electricity storage. However, without a route to market, that money would be wasted. Electricity storage has the potential to provide savings of more than £10 billion per year by 2050—that is £400 per household—but no savings at all if the capacity market takes no account of this contribution. It would be interesting to hear whether the Government support the Electricity Storage Network’s target for an additional 2 gigawatts of storage installed on the system by 2020.

.............

I will make a comment later in support of the amendment of my noble friend Lord Hanworth but I conclude with a few questions. First, as the Government have said that they consider DSR and storage to be a part of the future capacity market, can the Minister say what level of DSR and electricity storage within the capacity market the Government would deem a success?" 

and the Minister, Baroness Verma replied:

"......... we recognise that certain technologies, such as demand-side response and storage, have different characteristics from generation. That is why we have announced the transitional arrangements. In addition, we have designed the enduring capacity market to ensure that demand reduction and storage can participate effectively by running capacity auctions both four years ahead and one year ahead of when capacity is expected to be required.   ......."

 

 

"Updating our electricity networks"

 

Our electricity system is operated on a just in time basis, constantly balancing demand with generation. So excess or wrong-time renewable energy is discarded and high carbon emitting peaking plant is used at times of increased demand. We also balance the system by using large gas plants responding to the variability in wind production. Electricity storage provides a much cheaper and more efficient solution to the balancing requirement. But there is now a new level of urgency in the need to address our electricity infrastructure given the reduction in capacity margin which falls to about 2% by 2015/16, i.e. 2133 MW.

While building more peaking plants may appear to be the cheapest solution, it is a false economy. They have low load factors and high running costs. Imperial College has recently quantified that by 2020, 35% of conventional generation assets will have a load of less than 10%.

Furthermore, the reports from Imperial College show that the cumulative value to the UK of flexibility is £60bn by 2030. Some of this flexibility can be provided by electricity storage. But if we build new peaking plants now, which have a 20- 30 year lifetime, we restrict our choice as it will not be economically sensible to make a second capital investment in energy storage to capture the value of flexibility in five or even 10 years’ time. Along with the economic cost, this will also impact our ability to meet carbon targets. We should build storage now which can go on to provide benefit for 20 or more years.

Energy storage is not generation and is different to generation, since it can absorb and warehouse “wrong-time energy” for later use. This is the key to integrating renewables into the energy mix, without using back-up fossil fuel plant for times when wind or solar power production is low. Well-located electricity storage also optimises the use of generation, wires and cables, allowing them to be sized for average demand, not peak demand, deferring or saving the cost of reinforcement. Energy storage is the key to the smart grid

 

"Let's connect 2020 MW of Energy Storage to our power networks by 2020!"

Delegates at the annual conference organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Electricity Storage Network agred with the ESN's target to see 2020 MW of storage by 2020.  The end of 2020 is just 93 months away, said the Chairman, Ian Arbon.  We need to see development now, and across the next seven years if we are to meet this target.  The conference covered electricity storage and the national interest, international perspectives, financing and policy issues and updates on current electricity storage projects.  The programme can be downloaded here.

 

£30 M to create R&D facilities

to develop and test grid-scale energy storage

David Willets, the Minister for Universities and Science, announced a package of £600 million support for science which is to include £30 million to create R&D facilities to develop and test grid scale energy storage.  The announcement on 23 January and further details are available here

 

UK - Future World Leader in Energy Storage

 

On Friday 9 November, in a speech at the Royal Society, the Chancellor George Osborne said that the UK must take a global lead in developing a series of low carbon technologies, including energy storage:

"There is the challenge of storing more electricity for the grid," Osborne said. "Electricity demand peaks at around 60GW, whilst we have a grid capacity of around 80GW – but storage capacity of around just 3GW.

"Greater capability to store electricity is crucial for these power sources to be viable. It promises savings on UK energy spend of up to £10bn a year by 2050 as extra capacity for peak load is less necessary."

An article detailing the chancellor's speech can be accessed here.

 

Energy Storage competitions

DECC’s Energy Storage competitions

Technology innovators have been submitting their bids for DECC’s two energy storage innovation schemes: one for large-scale energy storage demonstration projects and the other for research and feasibility studies into storage systems and their components. 

The Electricity Storage Network welcomes this competition, which will stimulate the development of British developments in electricity storage.  Electricity Storage Network members have supported a number of discussions and briefings with DECC over the past year as this programme has been developed.

 

Build megawatt hours, not just megawatts

“Meeting  Britain’s power requirements needs storage as well as generating capacity”  says Anthony Price, Director of the Electricity Storage Network.  "The expected shortfall in reliable generating capacity  has been caused, in part, by a lack of commitment to a balanced portfolio of generation, storage and network investment. Building megawatts of new gas turbine plant is part of the solution, but adding more electricity storage into the power system will bring real long term benefits.

“Adding storage to a power system is a way of operating the whole system more efficiently.  Storage will reduce the total operating costs, and so reduce the costs of energy to consumers.  Instinctively, everyone knows that storage is good idea, making better use of wrong time energy is one of the priorities of the renewable energy industry.

"The opportunity is now."  Referring to reports that large scale investment in gas fired electricity generation is planned, the ESN's Director continues:  " if the Government does not support the use of storage as part of the solution to meet our power shortfall, we will lose this opportunity, and live to regret it.  What is low cost now will take us down power’s  one way street. It will be difficult and costly to reverse.  Our plans for the Smart Grid show we need storage and we must seize this opportunity now.”

The Electricity Storage Network is the trade and industry group that promotes the increased use of electricity storage in grid connected applications.  Its members include manufacturers and developers of electricity storage products, as well as users and researchers in storage technologies.  Electricity storage technologies include  battery systems, pumped hydro, liquid air, pumped heat, compressed air and flywheels,.  Electricity storage projects are in operation throughout the world. 

12 October 2012

DECC announces announcement of new energy storage competition (15 October 2012)

The Electricity Storage Network advises its members that DECC now expects to confirm details of its programmes to support energy storage demonstrations on Friday 20 October.   At a special meeting of ESN members held on on 15 October, DECC officials outlined the principles of the forthcoming support for innovation.   There will be a knowledge sharing event held with the energy and generation KTN on 6 November in London.

 

Craig Lucas, Head of Engineering at DECC announced premliminary details of DECC's competition for energy storage innovation at the IET's meeting on Smart Grids (19 September 2012).  Innovators can now register their interest on the DECC website prior to publication of the formal details of the call.

The Electricity Storage Network is pleased to have supported officials at DECC in identifying the topics for the call, and a number of Electricity Storage Network members have discussed the  need for support for this essential technology at ESN meetings with DECC over the past twelve months. 

 

MP's call for electricity storage to be recognized in the new Energy Bill

The House of Commons select committee on Energy and Climate Change has published its review of the Draft Energy Bill (23 July 2012) and has called for demand-side response and storage technologies to be recognised and defined explicitly in the Energy Bill. The case is argued for support for storage and DECC should investigate the legislative and other barriers to storage, and remove any that prevent it from competing fairly in the market.

The report may be downloaded here  (see volume 1, para 192)

The Electricity Storage Network provided written evidence to the committee, and this has been commented upon in the report.  Many other witnesses provided evidence supporting the role of storage.

 

Government failing to adequately support vital electricity storage technologies

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has published a policy statement  - 31 May 2012 - which calls for action by Her Majesty's Government in three key areas:

1. Support actions to identify the true system benefit of electricity storage. As a matter of priority the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) should carry out a detailed analysis to estimate the realistic requirements for electricity storage across the whole UK power system and its corresponding value to the nation.

2. Develop policy frameworks that reward the value of electricity storage in the UK’s power markets. The UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR), which is examining and revising the commercial and regulatory structure of the nation’s electricity market, should take into account the unique nature of electricity storage and remunerate investors and operators accordingly.

3. Encourage and support UK development of storage technologies for exploitation in world markets. The UK Government should advance the commercial-scale demonstration of electricity storage technologies in the UK, and thereby create technical value that UK companies can export overseas.

These recommendations are very much in line with our own views and policy and we commend the policy statement.  You can download the policy statement here, and the accompanying press release here

 

Electricity storage innovation

A meeting held on 12 April 2012, London

ESN members and representatives of DECC, OFGEM and BIS met recently in London to exchange views and ideas on the support for electricity storage innovation.  Ideas covered both support for technoology development as well as addressing electricity market reforms.  A note of the meeting will be sent to all  members. ESN members included network owners and operators, manufacturers, developers, and others active in the electricity storage spectrum. The discussions with government departments will continue over the coming months.

This activity comes at a time when recent reports and discussions have highlighted the role of storage as one of the four pillars of flexibility in the UK’s future electricity system.  The Electricity Storage Network is promoting the role of storage in the power industry and is active to ensure that electricity storage is included in revisions to regulations and legislation. 

Presentation slides by Ian Ellerington of DECC are available for download here (available by permission of DECC)

Notes of the meeting will be sent to members directly

 
 
 

The time is right for electricity storage!

The Electricity Storage Network brings together those interested in the development of grid or network connected energy storage within the UK.  Our focus is to

  • continue to press for electricity market reform that rewards the value of electricity storage
  • argue for credible support for electricity storage commensurate with the levels of support offered to other clean energy technologies
  • demonstrate that our energy storage industry, companies and academia have a major role to play in building our industrial base
  • present our case to government, government agencies, the media and the public
  • work together as an industry as together we can achieve much more than individual companies and institutions

Membership is open to all organisations, companies, academic instituions and individuals who have an interest in electricity storage.  Please contact our office for details of membership fees. 

Some members of the group are also members of the Electricity Storage Association (ESA)   The ESA is recognised as the leading international trade association for users and developers of electricity storage. Our group does not intend to duplicate the activities of the ESA and we remain supportive of their mission. 

ESN Responses to Consultations

Use the side bar link to policy and issues for details of our recent consultation responses.

 

Welcome to EASE

We welcome the European Association for the Storage of Energy:  a number of our friends are founding members of this group which was born on 27 September 2011.  We look forward to working with them.

Reports on Energy Storage

The Centre for Low Carbon Futures have published their report "Pathways to energy storage" on 27 March 2012.  You may download a copy here.

We have listed some links to third party reports on storage on the links page. 

 

Conferences and Meetings

 

 

Website updated 12 July 2013

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