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A bright future for energy storage in the UK?

Attending the UK Electricity Storage Network’s 'Good Storage, Better Storage' event a few days ago, one thing was obvious: energy storage is high up on the UK’s energy agenda. BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) and Ofgem clearly understand what the challenges for energy storage are and that they need to be addressed.

We see these challenges ranging from the lack of definition for energy storage, potentially designing a new asset class and resolving the ownership issue for network operators, right across to market barriers such as the ability to access and effectively stack revenue streams. All in all this provides a glimpse at the plethora of barriers for energy storage that remain in place in the UK today.

Delivering secure, affordable and clean energy now, and in the future, is the goal of the UK government. Storage and other smart energy technologies certainly have a core role in delivering this, as the Green Paper on building the UK’s industrial strategy outlined this week. As BEIS is wading through the responses to the recent Call for Evidence, they will look to address many of the barriers outlined above. Admittedly this will take time, so in the short term Wednesday’s announcement promised £9 million for innovation projects advancing energy storage.ESN

While it is fantastic to see that legislators are looking to resolve the issues surrounding storage in the UK and are committing further funding, it is even more encouraging to see that the market is already outpacing policy. We see a lot of public focus on the front-of-the-meter segment and we do expect significant growth driven by the capacity and frequency regulation markets. However, let’s not forget the behind-the-meter segment where Delta-ee expect the commercial and industrial sector to be shaping the distributed energy storage market in the UK, while we are also seeing a growing number of new propositions and pilots in the residential market.

As the market is moving forward, National Grid and a number of DNOs are introducing services which will inevitably be positive for electricity storage. National Grid announced that they will continue to drive the consolidation of frequency regulation services, aiming to introduce a blended Frequency Response tender by July 2017. Meanwhile, UK Power Networks will, throughout 2017, look to explore what type of services they could procure to help meet distribution network constraints.

So all in all the ESN’s Annual Symposium brought together a great range of stakeholders highlighting that the opportunities for energy storage in the UK are here today. The market is moving at a blistering speed and our latest research on energy storage and flexibility will help you identify the opportunities and design the right propositions to capture a share of that growth.

I am interested to hear your views and if you want to learn more please get in touch with me.

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