Following substantial recent reductions in costs associated with storage – especially lithium-ion batteries – the industry is ready now to deliver smarter alternatives for a clean energy system that will save money for the consumer.
Research commissioned by the STA and conducted by independent analysts Aurora Energy Research, has shown that batteries work particularly well with variable generation, such as solar. The research showed that a high deployment of solar in our future energy system would come with only modest integration costs associated with its variable output.
However, the addition of storage removes this cost and in its place delivers a net economic benefit. By enabling the provision of cheap, clean, energy for longer periods of the day there would be downward pressure on prices for the consumer, and reduce the need for other more expensive forms of generation.
In the call for evidence, OFGEM and BEIS identified a number of barriers to storage deployment, many of which the STA highlighted in their recent report Solar + Storage = Opportunities. Of particular importance is the lack of a regulatory definition for storage, leading to problems in treatment under current market rules such as double charging on energy consumption levies.
Nick Wood, STA Policy Analyst, explained: “The National Infrastructure Commission predicts that a flexible, smart network could deliver consumer benefits to the tune of £8 billion a year by 2030.
“If the Government is going to hit their targets, and deliver these consumer benefits, it is essential that they swiftly overcome the barriers to greater amounts of storage.”
Leonie Greene, STA Head of External Affairs, added: “Solar power has turned the grid on its head. It provides unique opportunities for energy consumers of all types to take control of their bills and produce their own energy, sitting at the heart of a smart, flexible energy system.
“Storage has a multiplier effect for renewable energy: whether it’s helping a homeowner get the most efficient use of their solar panels, or a solar farm match its output with demand, storage will benefit the whole system.”