renewable energy sector’s ‘holy grail’ – DECC UK Subsidy

In a show of support for innovation, in the UK the Department of Energy and Climate Change is introducing a subsidy for energy storage in the September 2012. The subsidy is part of that government’s willingness to create a market mechanism to help firms become more competitive.

Energy Live News interviewed Ian Ellerington, Head of Innovation Delivery at DECC and he said: “We see that in the long term electricity storage is going to be important so through the innovation programme at DECC we’re going to be supporting electricity storage through a scheme of grants that I’m hoping to announce formally in September this year”. Later he added: “We’re going to be giving assistance to companies to demonstrate technologies so they can get funding and bring their costs down to make them more competitive and I would hope that suitable market mechanisms can be found.”

CO2Land org is aware many companies in Australia have sought similar assistance here, and often move offshore to get the opportunity to prove there products out of Australia. This could be one such opportunity through the UK package. You may have noticed through posts on electric vehicles that we in Australia are dubbed as having a grid network that makes alterative electrical power transport more polluting than similar petrol driven vehicles, and you might agree if it was possible to fit energy storage support into the energy grid it would be a real boost to the renewable industry, it could make the energy system more cost effective, and if storage can be part of that then it would be good to have the commercial mechanism in place to take advantage of the benefits that can be realised.

It follows that energy storage is seen as the renewable energy sector’s ‘holy grail’ for the role it can play in storing energy from renewables, for example by storing electricity produced at periods of high wind or during the day time from photovoltaics and then used as a high demand management response tool. Good move, as the component of peak demand where price is high is about 20% of the time and when renewable power struggles to make a contribution to base load. It also follows that about 5% of the time energy prices are traded at levels that would break most supply companies if sustained and is one of the reasons we pay higher bills than we could have otherwise.

Source: Energylive News (www.energylive.com) Energy Storage Subsidy to be announced in Autumn.

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