De-carbonising everything: is CCU the answer?

I have bemoaned in previous posts the dependence of de-carbonisation goals on carbon capture and storage (“CCS”), a process that has yet to demonstrate commercial viability, other than in the context of enhanced oil recovery, which is hardly supportive of long-term emissions targets. I recently read a description of CCS that sums this up very…

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Smoke and mirrors: talking up battery storage

There has been quite a bit of news-flow about battery storage over the past couple of weeks. There was the announcement that Elon Musk had succeeded in his bid to delivery the world’s largest battery storage facility to South Australia within his 100-day deadline, while in the UK the new capacity market register was published…

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Changing regulatory landscape for electricity storage is not all good news

The last couple of months have seen some interesting newsflow in relation to electricity storage. Storage projects are increasingly popular, with developments occurring at every level of the system from grid-connected utility-scale projects to behind-the-meter domestic storage, and the Government together with Ofgem is keen to remove barriers to entry to allow storage assets to…

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LAES: a cool idea if it can be shown to be cost effective

In June, Highview Power Storage secured funding from Innovate UK to modify its Liquid Air Energy Storage (“LAES”) system to improve its response times. LAES is an interesting concept, as it provides the potential for bulk energy storage without the geological constraints of technologies such as pumped hydro and Compressed Air Energy Storage (“CAES“). LAES…

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Electricity storage on the fly

Last week saw the news that the UK is to host Europe’s largest battery flywheel energy storage system, which will provide fast frequency response services to both the GB and Irish markets. The £3.5 million project will be delivered by a a consortium of engineers from the University of Sheffield, flywheel specialists Schwungrad Energie and…

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Finding the right business model for electricity storage

The question of how electricity storage should be treated by regulators is once again in the news, with National Grid and UK Power Networks making submissions to the UK Government setting out their reasons for wanting to be able to own and operate electricity storage assets themselves. They argue that as storage can be used as an alternative…

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Solar + Storage: the other side of the story

In this second post on the viability of solar + storage (first post here) I examine the conclusions of the Aurora Energy report, which presents a rather more optimistic view of the prospects of the combined technologies, claiming that the cost of backing up solar generation and integrating it into the energy system was negligible,…

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Shining a light on solar + storage

Solar + storage, the combination of solar power and electricity storage, is seen by many as the Holy Grail of the energy markets and the key to a secure, low carbon future. However two recent reports provide conflicting views on whether this is a realistic prospect or simply another myth. In its analysis, the Adam Smith Institute…

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