In response to very high gas prices, Madeleine Greenhalgh, policy lead for the Electricity Storage Network, states the importance of investing in energy storage.
The impact on households and businesses of the current high gas prices shows the importance of investing in technologies to store power as part of building a resilient, renewable power system that can wean us off fossil fuels.
In the past few years, companies have installed over 1 GW of batteries on the electricity system, increasing storage capacity by a third and providing crucial support at times of system stress. Our analysis shows there is a strong pipeline of further 6-8 GW of storage projects in the development pipeline with planning permission and a grid connection agreement in place that could, under the right conditions, be built out over the coming years.
As well as helping to balance supply and demand of energy in the physical supply chain, energy storage also exerts an important calming and confidence-building influence within the energy markets. This helps to reduce the volatility of market prices by giving confidence to those traders who are concerned with energy supply and dissuading the action of traders engaged in short term speculation. This system benefit of energy storage seems to have been overlooked by policy makers and regulators.
The key priorities now for the government, the regulator and the Electricity System Operator are to develop markets that incentivise further investment in a range of short and long term storage technologies and encourage zero carbon storage solutions to take over from gas, alongside developing a much smarter and more flexible electricity system that can much match supply and demand more effectively.