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Battery Power helps renewable energy independents.

By Dave Armstrong - 04 May 2016 8:5:0 GMT
Battery <q>Power</q> helps renewable energy independents.

Solar power has expanded much more than wind power onshore in the UK, but offshore, huge estuarine complexes are planned, while energy from waste involves several independents and tidal power will soon being exploited in Swansea Bay. Onshore turbine image; Credit: © SmartestEnergy

SmartestEnergy are the UK company who have tracked independent producers for the past 4 years. The traditional power station suppliers now compete with over 1000 commercial but independent renewable plants who produce 40% of renewable energy. Robert Groves, the CEO of SmartestEnergy, quipsBy contrast, the energy entrepreneurs are small, nimble and innovative. They have attracted a global pool of capital to invest in Britain’s renewable capacity and are taking advantage of technologies like wind and solar which are rapidly coming down the cost curve. They are starting to invest in battery storage which will play a key role in our future energy system and offers exciting new business opportunities

That quote on battery storage is perhaps the most significant. Solar capacity grew by 83% in 2015 with onshore wind slowing (only a 7% increase in capacity, compared to a large rise the previous year.) This contrasts with a downturn in 2012 as the FIT programme for homeowners began to be dismantled by unsympathetic government ministers.

Electricity prices fell more than 20%, reducing the value by 4%, leaving the independents with innovation as their saving grace. 3 key innovations have been identified, but with battery prices down by 20-30%, a service called Demand Response has increased the utility of battery use. The service reduces peak demand and the need for new infrastructure, giving independents the chance to provide services when their capacity is reduced. It gives back-up power necessary for solar and wind installations, especially when Europe’s biggest battery at 6MW occupies the area of several tennis courts in Leighton Buzzard (Bedfordshire.). Oh, for more miniaturisation.

SmartestEnergy has its full press release with data on UK countries, regions and counties in today’s Energy Entrepreneurs Report 2016 here.