• Benefits of the UK’s Growing Solar PV Market will be Lost Without Energy Storage Systems

Green Energy

Benefits of the UK’s Growing Solar PV Market will be Lost Without Energy Storage Systems

Jul 03 2013

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, UK power will be 85% more expensive than in Germany (Europe’s biggest energy market) by May 2015. This stark difference has been attributed to Germany’s advanced renewable energy programme, which accounts for 30% of power generation, compared to the UK’s 11.3%.

Incentives, such as Germany’s announcement to provide €25m of grants to help subsidise energy storage battery costs installed alongside solar PV systems, is helping our European neighbour to realise the full potential of renewable technology. 

Although the UK’s solar PV market is showing promise, with more than 500MW of installed capacity accounting for 10% of global installations during the first quarter of 2013, much of this benefit will be lost unless effective energy storage technology is developed and deployed.

The complexities of the UK’s solar market and growing energy storage sector will be addressed during two upcoming conferences next month. Organised by Solarplaza (Netherlands), The Solar Future UK ’13 and Energy Storage UK ’13 will take place on 16 and 17 July respectively in London's Central Hall, Westminster.

Speaking of the importance of electricity storage, Director of the Electricity Storage Network, Anthony Price, says: "The opportunity is now. 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 Minister for Energy and Climate Change Gregory Barker MP will deliver the keynote speech during The Solar Future UK ’13 event. The following day, leading industry spokespeople and cleantech businesses from the UK’s energy storage sector will discuss the latest technology developments and discuss how energy storage systems (ESS) will advance the integration of renewable energy, such as solar PV and wind.    

Commenting on the UK’s energy storage developments, event organiser and CEO of Solarplaza, Edwin Koot said: “Energy storage is taking centre stage in discussions on how the UK will manage energy demand in the future, integrate increasing amounts of intermittent renewable energy and help balance the network during times of grid stress.

“The 20GW figure for the UK’s solar PV deployment potential by 2020, announced by Gregory Barker MP at the recent Intersolar conference, should provide a welcome boost to the energy storage industry. Deployment potential of solar PV is greater than UK’s grid storage capacity. Without large-scale energy storage solutions, the UK Government’s ambition to reach this figure presents a significant challenge for National Grid, which has already warned that building more than 10GW will make it difficult to manage the network in its current form. 

“This year’s Energy Storage UK ’13 event will offer an exciting and engaging opportunity for delegates to find out why energy storage is becoming one of the biggest market opportunities in clean energy and one of the fastest-moving areas of innovation.”

The positive steps being taken to increase power generated by renewables also presents significant storage challenges, as utilities struggle to maintain frequency and voltage tolerances. The intermittency of solar PV requires utilities to maintain additional spinning reserve from polluting power stations to pick up loads in the event of power delivery drops. If the potential of solar PV is to be fully realised, the National Grid will require fast-acting energy storage systems that can dispatch power and respond quickly to network imbalances.


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