Energy News 16/06/2017
Michael Gove is appointed energy secretary, suppliers continue to fall short on digital offerings and global e...Read More
The UK could save £3.5 billion a year from the cost of moving to low carbon electricity with grid-scale electricity storage for renewable generated power.
More storage could balance the variable output of renewables but may also strengthen Britain’s energy security and enable carbon reduction targets to be met more quickly. A new paper by QBC, a grid-scale storage developer, claims that storage is currently the missing piece of the UK’s renewables jigsaw.
To meet EU and national climate change targets, UK government policy has encouraged the closure of coal and oil fired power stations – the heaviest CO2 emitters – while putting in place generous subsidies for renewable generation such wind and solar.
Other countries have coupled the building of new storage to renewables so that surplus energy can be captured and used later when the wind and/or sun are not favourable. More than 99% of electricity storage around the world uses pumped hydro technology due to its low cost and proven reliability.
But the UK has so far only modestly engaged with pumped hydro storage solutions, choosing instead CO2-producing diesel generators and gas power stations as backup. This has cost implications as fossil-fuelled generation must be in reserve.
QBC, which is currently developing its first pumped hydro site in North Wales, claims it has identified locations throughout Britain with low planning risk that could deliver 10GW of such storage. QBC claims that 10GW of pumped hydro-storage facilities will save some £3.5 billion a year due to less than planned offshore wind being needed to meet generating requirements.
The biggest savings, though, come from soaking up generation when supply exceeds demand. Imperial College estimates that by 2020 Britain will effectively be throwing away up to 27% of wind electricity. Storage will enable Britain to cut waste to just 7%, lessening the need for contentious constraint payments.
Storage could also help achieve carbon targets with QBC estimating that 5 million fewer tonnes of CO2 emitted per year storage if standby fossil-fuelled plants are replaced. A more secure and self-sufficient electricity supply, less dependent on interconnectors with neighbouring countries is also predicted.
But QBC chairman Peter Taylor warns that energy storage are not a quick solution. “Putting the UK back on a par with other nations will take time. A single new pumped hydro storage facility might take anything up to seven years from initial proposal to actually beginning operation. With 30GW of renewables planned for 2020 Britain does not have the luxury of … kicking the storage can down the road.
“Our survey shows that Britain could achieve as much as 50GWh of storage using innovative pumped hydro alone. We don’t claim pumped hydro is the sole answer to the UK’s storage needs. Certainly it is the tried and tested option, but we see a future where the UK incorporates different storage technologies at different layers in the system, with pumped hydro providing big capacity, fast reaction storage at grid-level, other technologies at distribution network substations, and even domestic storage playing a part.”
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017