Five top takeaways from edie’s energy storage masterclass
On Tuesday (17 December), edie hosted a masterclass with EDF Energy on energy storage and onsite renewable generation. Here, we round up the key insights and information on this crucial issue for sustainability and energy managers.
Below are the top five takeaways from the webinar, which saw expert speakers Vincent de Rul, director of energy solutions, and Neil Muller, product owner – battery, at EDF Energy, answer listeners’ questions and deliver key information on energy storage.
1) In a net-zero world, energy storage is not an optional add-on
As Vincent de Rul alluded to several times throughout the webinar, the time is now for action. After net-zero was enshrined into UK law through an amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008, it has become clear that energy storage will play a business-critical role in the transition.
de Rul highlighted at the beginning of the masterclass a line from the IPCC’s landmark report in 2018:
‘The burning question for energy is, how can we each be part of a solution that powers our businesses in a way that is more efficient, cuts waste and curbs emissions?”
2) Net-zero for energy requires a whole-system approach
de Rul went on to emphasise that battery is the key to success but is not the only solution on its own. “It complements efficiency, flex and EV in the mix and is vital to the grid balance and to net-zero.”, he said.
In this way, there is a net-zero network which is “the sum of many parts” as he outlined below. Energy for net-zero means “every drop of resource is used and reused as efficiently as possible”, Vincent said.
He outlined how it was important to have:
- Live energy monitoring- identify where you are using and wasting energy.
- Reduce your carbon- through guaranteed renewable and low carbon energy sources.
- Get flexible: flex your assets to reuse energy and create additional revenue streams through DSR, storage and V2G.
3) Battery storage: Who’s it for?
When assessing who battery storage is for, de Rul outlined that “any type and size of business can benefit from deploying energy storage” – but that “the technology is most appropriate for those businesses that have “particular concerns around energy prices or resilience, and those that undertake critical, energy-intensive industrial processes.”
He also said that it was useful for businesses “that already have on-site generation, as energy storage will allow them to utilise more of their own generation and less energy from the grid.”
4) Assess your case for storage before taking the plunge
When considering the installation of energy storage solutions – or any onsite solution – EDF pointed out that it was “crucial” that companies have a “good understanding” of what they want to achieve from the project from the outset.
For example, in this way, companies should ask questions such as: “Are you trying to create a new revenue stream or is this part of a wider energy strategy?”
EDF Energy said it got many requests for battery storage because it was “easier to understand than many other solutions” – but Muller and de Rul were keen to stress that “sometimes businesses either need to start with the basics first, like efficiency, or sometimes it’s more beneficial for them to participate in flexibility services”.
5) The market for onsite storage and renewables is booming
Alongside the aforementioned comments about net-zero carbon targets and the transition to a low carbon economy throughout the 2020s, EDF said that the “global battery storage market is currently experiencing huge growth”.
Vincent said: “From an initial base of 0.34GW of installed battery storage capacity in 2012 and 2013, to an estimated 40GW by 2022. This market growth is due in part to the falling costs of energy storage technologies. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recently estimated that the cost of battery storage could fall by up to 66% by 2030.”
In terms of future growth in the UK, EDF highlighted the work at Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab, which estimated that energy storage technologies could generate savings of £10bn a year by 2050. The government has pledged £246m of investment into research and development of battery storage to “help break down some of the barriers to developing new battery technologies and introduce new business models to accelerate industry growth”.
EDF also highlighted how energy storage complemented the growth of V2G – and how EVs could “eventually form, as a collective entity, the largest energy storage system of all”.