Energy storage needs £6bn UK investment by 2030 to keep pace with renewables, research finds

More than £6bn will need to be invested in the UK's energy storage market by 2030 if the nation is to decarbonise at the rate necessary to meet legally-binding carbon targets.

That is a key conclusion of new research from energy market analyst Aurora Energy Research, which found that 13GW of additional storage and flexible generation assets is needed by 2030 to balance the grid as more renewable projects come online.

Specifically, Aurora predicts that the National Grid’s balancing and storage market will double in size to reach around £2bn by 2030.

Commenting on the publication of Aurora’s research, renewables firm Anesco’s executive chairman Steve Shine said: “There has been a visible shift in the way [storage] technologies are being regarded and what may once have been seen as a high-risk investment, is now considered a strategic long-term investment, that has benefits across many levels.”

By 2030, investment in renewable energy across Europe is set to grow as EU Member States aim for green electricity to account for 27% of the bloc’s energy mix.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has predicted that renewable energy sources will account for around three-quarters of the expected $10trn global investment into power generating technologies between now and 2040.

However, experts have consistently warned that the intermittency of wind and solar energy will create wildly varying outputs from renewable energy generation in the UK by 2040, hence the need for energy storage solutions.

A recent BNEF study predicted that the global energy storage market will double six times by 2030 to reach 125GW. Domestically, the early signs are encouraging, with the UK’s largest storage portfolio carried out in June by UK Power Reserve and energy storage firm Fluence.

Battery storage boon

In related news, UK-based energy storage and smart home firm Moxia has this week launched a new battery storage technology for domestic use in a bid to turn British homes into “mini power stations”.

The 4.8kWh device has an output of 1000W, which Moxia claims is sufficient to power routine domestic activities such as lighting for “several hours”.

The company additionally claims that the device, which uses an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to account for energy use patterns and renewable generation, can be used to power electric vehicle (EV) chargers in a cost-effective way.

“The next decade will see growing numbers of UK homes become mini power stations, generating and storing electricity, buying it when it is cheap and selling it back to the grid to support a cost-effective, low-carbon energy system,” Moxia’s chief executive Simon Daniel said.

“We want to help customers take part in the smart power revolution and share its rewards. Our smart batteries will soon know whether it’s better to charge your car battery or use it to power your home.”

The battery unit will retail at £3,950, with customers able to earn £50 a year back by allowing local electricity grids to use any spare capacity. 

To find out more about energy storage, you can download our edie Explains report by clicking here.

Sarah George


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