The government's announcement that it will be conducting an independent review to ensure energy is affordable for households and businesses is another positive step for the industry.
The review, which will consider the whole electricity supply chain, the way in which costs can be reduced, the implications of the changing demand for electricity and the role innovative technologies including energy storage can impact on energy affordability, builds on the recent government and Ofgem plan for a "smart energy system", which was announced in July.
The stage has already been set for energy storage playing an increasing role managing the UK's energy use. It seems likely that this independent review will also highlight the important part that energy storage can play in making energy more affordable, particularly where it is linked to schemes like the Trent Basin development in Nottingham, which uses storage combined with other technologies to put energy use, and hence costs, back in the hands of the residents; or where it is used for grid balancing such as Aura Power's 15MW facility in Bristol, which was commissioned by Hazel Capital, and is being heralded as the UK’s largest stand-alone battery storage facility. This facility will provide frequency response services to the National Grid.
The storage market has been given a huge boost with these recent government announcements. In addition we have the next National Grid capacity market auction about to get underway and without a doubt we would expect to see an increase in the number of active projects over the next couple of months either where they are part of grid balancing services or where end-users, be those individuals, community groups or commercial organisations, are looking to energy storage as a method of controlling energy use and cost.
It will be interesting to read Professor Helm's conclusions as to what role he envisages energy storage playing in achieving the government's push towards the UK having the lowest energy costs in Europe.
Read the official government press release.