Energy Storage – The Key To Creating Energy Capacity

There is still a distortion between supply and demand, brought about by the lack of knowledge sharing.
Published: Mon 13 Oct 2014

The integration of renewables, frequency regulation, long term energy storage through power-to-gas pilots, pumped hydro, and compressed air energy storage (CAES) are pushing the energy storage market to the forefront of the energy sector, writes Andrew Jones, Managing Director, S&C Electric Europe. He will also be one of the speakers at Engerati's webinar, The Energy Storage Clinic- Live Panel Discussion on 16 October. 

Energy storage plays a critical role

Energy capacity may be getting smaller however, energy storage technology has advanced over the years and must play a critical role in the future of our electrical infrastructure. With so much at stake and a multitude of storage solutions available, it's important to build the right solution mix for the required needs.

When it first began, large-scale energy storage came through pumped-storage hydroelectricity, which comes in the form of massive reservoirs. While this form of energy storage is still in use, many technological advancements have occurred over the years that has turned energy storage into the size of a battery. Energy storage technology promises to increase energy efficiency even further by helping reduce the amount of electricity that is lost during transmission and distribution.

Among others, there are a few ways that energy storage is used:

  • It can be used in lieu of traditional, carbon- emitting resources to provide frequency regulation and other ancillary services for power systems—which is crucial to protect the stability and reliability of the grid

  • Energy storage can provide a back-up power source for critical loads that is cleaner than diesel generators

  • Energy storage can provide a cleaner power source to help meet peak demand, reducing the need to use older and less efficient fossil-fuel-fired generation at these times

One of the deterrents is the lack of investment in energy storage due to a distortion between supply and demand, brought about by lack of knowledge sharing among the four key stakeholders: generators, transmission system operators, distributors, and supply companies.

Market environments often lack financial incentives for utilities to innovate and regulatory processes can limit their ability to conduct trials and demonstrations. These barriers are not unique to energy storage. As technology continues to improve and become more mature, cheaper and recognised globally for its potential, adoption will advance.

One way that advancement is being demonstrated is through S&C and Samsung’s 6 MW/10MWh battery storage project with UKPN at Leighton Buzzard. The project is expected to save £6 million over 15 years in deferment costs over traditional reinforcement methods. The technology can provide a range of benefits to the wider electricity system, including absorbing energy, then releasing it to meet demand, to help support capacity constraints and to balance the influx of intermittent and inflexible low carbon technologies onto the grid.

Finding the right energy storage solutions

With the above issues in mind, Engerati's webinar aims to give participants the opportunity to quiz the experts on all things storage. In this stimulating European Utility Week webinar, speakers will also include Anthony Price, Energy Storage Specialist at Swanburton and Director of the Electricity Storage Network; Dr Rahul Walawalkar, Executive Director India at Energy Storage Alliance; and Samsung SDI’s Frank Baumann, Sales Director Energy Storage. 

I hope the live panel discussion of energy storage gurus will answer your need-to-know questions on specific storage solutions, as well as showcasing results from real world pilots and live projects.

Register to gain a better understanding of the storage technologies currently available and how they can help you today.

S&C Europe will also be attending the European Utility Week event.