The current and forecasted growth of the energy storage market is significant, and likely to gather further momentum in the future as the UK transitions into its low carbon future energy network.
The below issues are key to the continued growth of energy storage and illustrates how complete energy management solutions, such as Powerstar VIRTUE are positioned to support businesses and the grid during the evolving energy landscape.
- Transitioning to a low carbon economy
- Transitioning from a centralised energy network
- The Business Case
TRANSITIONING TO A LOW CARBON ECONOMY
This rapid transition is being brought about due to many factors, chiefly international concern about climate change, carbon emissions and sustainability. In an effort to meet its targets set by both the Paris Climate agreement and the Climate Change Act, the UK has legally binding targets to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by the year 2050. This would equate to a substantial reduction of 673.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1990 to 168.4 MtCO2e in 2050.
TRANSITIONING FROM A CENTRALISED ENERGY NETWORK
In order to support the decarbonisation efforts in the UK, the energy agenda has been altered and now has an intensified focus on transitioning from a centralised network to bring about a smart, flexible and responsive network that can assist in decarbonisation whilst supporting the growing demand experienced by the UK’s energy grid.
The successful adoption of a decentralised energy network will require the simultaneous uptake of several technologies including distributed generation, distributed storage, energy efficiency, and demand response. And, it is worth acknowledging that all of these aspects can be incorporated into a single solution at the leading edge of the market, in the form of the behind-the-meter (BtM) battery energy storage system (BESS) market leading technology, Powerstar VIRTUE.
Powerstar VIRTUE currently holds more than 75% of the behind-the-meter, BESS market based on 2017 figures, and the solution is set to strengthen its foothold with another 4.5MW of capacity set to be in production by the middle of March.
In addition to the above aspects that are central to decentralisation, Powerstar’s VIRTUE solution offers the key benefit of responsive, full Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) capabilities, which can seamlessly support the load within milliseconds of an energy-related failure being detected, ensuring there is no loss of power to the site.
The importance of this capability is enhanced by statistics showing that energy-related failures are both increasing and costly. In a recent report, Centrica revealed such failures can total as much as 17% of a company’s annual revenue and can have serious, negative implications to a company’s reputation, equipment and stock, highlighting the growing requirement of complete energy solutions which can offer supply resilience in addition to the decentralised benefits.
The increasing supply issues that are being experienced by the centralised grid, with 2015-16 figures showing a 46% increase in the number of blackouts or brownouts compared to the year before, are highlighting the need for supply resilience as the limitations of the current energy network are exposed. Indeed, implementing a decentralised solution which could capture all the aforementioned benefits and combine it with supply resilience will lead the market during its extended transitional period.
THE BUSINESS CASE
However, it is not only the wider landscape that will benefit from the implementation of a decentralised network, in fact, the business case for decentralisation, delivered through energy storage within individual organisations is strong.
As with many energy storage solutions, VIRTUE can provide an organisation with significant cost savings. This is because of the ability to time-shift energy, storing it during off-peak Distribution Use of System (DUoS) periods and using it during peak DUoS periods to circumvent the higher costs of taking grid energy at peak times.
Although, it is not merely the savings that can be provided by VIRTUE that are attractive as it can also introduce a business to new revenue streams through partaking in demand response. This is best illustrated in the process of arbitrage, which is simply selling the energy that has been stored cheaply at off-peak periods for a profit in peak periods.
Lastly, VIRTUE can be implemented alongside Powerstar’s award-winning voltage regulation technology which optimises the voltage level to save money and extend the life of electrical equipment. In addition to this, VIRTUE can be used for renewable firming. This is the process of storing an excess of renewable energy for use later so that the energy is not wasted. Renewable firming is a key part of the global decarbonisation strategy as it increases the reliability and viability of renewable energy, a vital aspect in the fight to lower emissions.
Whether implemented to save money, make money, deliver supply resilience, future-proof the business or all of the above, VIRTUE has many applications and benefits that are only likely to become more prominent and essential in the years to come as the UK embraces the new energy landscape.
Discover more about VIRTUE and how it can be key to maintaining operations at the operational stability webinar on April 24 2018.
5th March 2018