A recent analysis by Carbon Brief outlined that electricity generation in the UK fell to its lowest level in a quarter century in 2018. Even more encouraging statistics demonstrate that output from renewable energy sources rose significantly in the past year, generating around 33% of the UK in total.
The move to increasing the use of renewables has been a key factor in the UK’s drive to achieve global emissions and climate targets. Specifically, renewable sources have helped to avoid around 40Mt of annual UK CO2 emissions, compared to generating equivalent amounts of power using gas.
The decision to remove the feed-in tariffs has been a discouraging move by the Government as this was a great driving force to promote small-scale renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies. However, the Government announced on the 8th of January 2019 that a new proposal named the Smart Export Guarantee is being considered which aims to unlock a smarter energy system. Households and businesses that install solar panels will receive payments for any excess electricity they produce but do not use. The aim of the proposal, which is currently out for consultation, is to protect consumers from unfair costs while incentivising the deployment of solar panels. Finally… the comeback of Government support to enable those who want to install renewable energy technologies!
Renewables continued to make a pretty remarkable impact in 2018 with the launch of the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Often referred to as a risky investment in the past, offshore wind is one of the UK’s biggest success stories and we now have the largest installed base in the world. Scotland already has a number of these projects ongoing and now Wales is seeking opportunities with 48% of Welsh energy consumption currently supplied from renewable technologies.
It is likely wind energy will continue to strive through 2019 with many aspirations such as using offshore windfarms to provide power to islands. The Government has also promised a long-awaited sector deal for the offshore wind industry which was expected at the end of 2018. Hopefully 2019 will be the year when this comes into place…
More hopes for 2019 include the shift towards battery storage. This enables building owners to switch power usage from grid to onsite automatically. It also saves energy costs while providing payments from the Grid for reducing usage.
Battery storage projects are already underway for 2019 with Premier Inn installing a 100kW/200kWh lithium ion battery in one of its Edinburgh hotels in order to help reduce costs and optimise its load profile.
Another project was also recently announced by Anesco and Shell’s Energies new division who are to partner on a utility-scale battery storage project in Norfolk. This is in addition to many other global energy giants carrying out large scale battery projects in the UK. Vattenfall, EDF and Centrica have all completed projects with Orsted recently completing a 20MW battery near Liverpool.
Our innovative software solution, arbn renew, is the easiest online tool to help organisations realise the benefits of deploying onsite renewable energy technologies. Our software analyses seven renewable technologies (including solar, wind and battery storage) and demonstrates which would be the most beneficial for each site.
By using arbn renew to deploy battery storage you can:
- Avoid peak tariffs – By charging when energy is available, and discharging when it is most expensive, a battery is guaranteed to save you money.
- Reduce on site capacity charges – By discharging when the site is consuming the most, you can avoid excess capacity charges and potentially reduce capacity threshold.
- Keep excess on-site generation for later use – By using 100% of energy generated on site, you maximise the return from the renewable system, save the cost of importing that energy, and save carbon and grid demand.
With the National Grid’s expectation for the UK’s battery storage capacity to expand to as much as 1.7GW by the 2021/2022 winter period there’s a lot ahead and it’s looking like the time to start investing in battery storage…