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What does the future of Energy Storage hold?

We are all familiar with batteries powering our phones and laptops, but as energy storage moves into our cars, homes and businesses, how will this impact our daily lives?  What will the marketplace look like? In this blog, Dan Dickinson, specialist Low Carbon Advisor at the GC Business Growth Hub gives an overview of the current marketplace and looks at how it is likely to transform in the not-so-distant future.

The past 18 months have seen a massive shift in the way consumers use energy, which has resulted in a significant increase in the level of interest in the energy storage market in the UK. The need to decarbonise the energy system and effectively transition to a low carbon economy to meet the UK’s legal Climate Change Act (2008) objectives, has resulted in a change from a centralised to a decentralised energy system. This change is nothing short of a revolution in how, when and where we generate energy.

Venturefest NW Workshop

To learn about these changes and opportunities, GC Business Growth Hub’s Green Technology and Services Sector team hosted an Energy Storage workshop at Venturefest Northwest 2018, inviting two Low Carbon Network members to share their experiences – Regen and Moixa.  Regen are an independent not for profit that use their expertise to work with industry, communities and the public sector to revolutionise the way we generate, supply and use energy, while Moixa is a leading UK residential Smart Battery storage and energy management company. The workshop was well attended, attracting 25 delegates from a diverse audience containing businesses in the sector, local authorities and leading Universities in the Northwest region, all looking to benefit from this latest innovation.

Download the Venturefest Workshop presentation

Current Marketplace

Falling costs and increased market penetration of energy storage products is creating opportunities across commercial, industrial and domestic sectors. Lithium Ion battery costs plummeted from £1850/kWh in 2013 to £400/kWh in 2016, with Imperial College London predicting 2020 costs of around £230/kWh.

On commercial and grid-scale activities, energy storage offers balancing, Demand Side Response (DSR) and peak-shifting services. Increasingly, we are seeing new storage technologies outside of the mainstays of Lithium Ion and pumped hydro, such as flow batteries or Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES). These grid services help to decarbonise the electric system by supporting intermittent renewable generation, such as solar PV or wind, to deliver energy more consistently, and to reduce peak demand. Read more about Demand Side Response here.

In the domestic sector, the rise of rooftop solar PV and increase in EV ownership has made battery storage a more attractive solution. Products such as Moixa’s Smart Battery allow homeowners to cover more electricity usage from their solar generation; avoiding supplier bills and grid dependency.

Homeowners with electric vehicles can also participate in market changes thanks to Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology – using your car’s battery to help balance demand at home or at work. Already, energy providers such as Eon and Tonik Energy are offering tailored tariffs to EV owners in response to their increase electrical consumption and specific demand profiles. Read more about accelerating the electric vehicle transition here.

The Future

  • The previously linear electricity grid will become evermore interconnected, with homes and businesses consuming, generating, storage and sharing energy. Blockchain and AI software will automate much of these processes leading to enhanced efficiencies.
  • Homeowners and businesses with energy storage will increasingly be able to exploit revenue streams previously reserved for larger installations through DSR, aggregation platforms such as GridShare and peer-to-peer energy trading networks such as the Dutch Powerpeers.
  • EVs will progressively play a greater role in energy management, through smart chargers reducing peak system demand, V2G balancing domestic energy usage and increased infrastructure at homes, workplaces and on road networks.
  • The market is set to continue its impressive growth - Tesla predict that behind-the-meter solar PV and battery storage installations will increase nine-fold between 2017 and 2021.

Key Points

  • Over 4GW of grid energy storage projects were accepted or connected by 2018 in the UK
  • Energy storage capacity expected to grow EU-wide by 40-45% year on year
  • Almost one-third of UK electricity is from renewable sources – energy storage is integral to supporting the adoption and growth of renewables
  • Over £100million is currently available to fund energy storage-powered EV charging solutions, and £600million of EV charging investment has been announced in 2018
  • 11 million EVs are predicted to be on the road by 2030 – this could lead to V2G technology providing 38GW of flexibility services
  • Industry support (or lack thereof) from government could have a big impact on the future growth of the energy storage industry, especially in the domestic sector

Download Regen’s complete UK energy storage market review commissioned by the GC Business Growth Hub

If you are not benefitting from the support of a GC Business Growth Hub advisor, please get in touch on 0161 359 3050. If you would like to hear more from the Green Technologies and Services Sector team, please join our Low Carbon Network to enjoy a host of sector-specific support and growth opportunities.

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Daniel Dickinson

Daniel Dickinson, Low Carbon Sector Advisor

Dan has been working in Greater Manchester’s green technologies and services sector since 2013, joining the Business Growth Hub from a background in energy reporting, large-scale renewables and energy storage.

Dan specialises in supporting SMEs in the sector to understand emerging technologies, improve service development and build competitive advantage. Dan holds an MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling & Reconstruction.