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Energy Insight: Energy storage - battery technologies
Since the discovery of electricity, we have sought effective methods to store that energy for use on demand. Over the last century, the energy storage industry has continued to evolve and adapt to changing energy requirements and advances in technology.
Energy storage systems provide a wide array of technological approaches to managing our power supply in order to create a more resilient energy infrastructure and bring cost savings to utilities and consumers.
Solid state batteries - a range of electrochemical storage solutions, including advanced chemistry batteries and capacitors. Advances in technology and materials have increased reliability and capacity of modern batteries and reduced cost.
Fuel cells - a cell that produces an electric current directly from a chemical reaction.
This chart shows UK electricity generation by source in 2015. Of the total, almost 35% is generated in a way that depends not on demand but on the form of generation: wind and solar do not supply to order whilst nuclear cannot easily be turned on or off to cope with changes in demand.
Benefits of battery storage
Battery storage solutions allow you to store excess electricity generated by, for example, solar, wind or nuclear plants system throughout the day or when the wind is blowing at an optimum speed in order to make use of it during the evenings when demand is high or during periods of low generation. This effectively bridges the gap between peak generation and peak demand that is common in the case of many renewable generation systems by storing excess electricity for use during peak hours.
Charles Bond. Victoria Yao. Battery technologies - the way forward. Gowling - WLG 5 September 2017. News that the UK has pledged to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 has put a feather in the cap of the electric car industry on the back of claims that charging cars and vans from the grid, like a laptop or phone, is sure to be cleaner than petrol or diesel power.
BEIS. Business Secretary to establish UK as world leader in battery technology as part of modern Industrial Strategy. Business Secretary Greg Clark announces the launch of the £246 million Faraday Challenge to boost expertise in battery technology. 24 July 2017.
Warner, Jeremy. Old energy order draws to a close amid battery storage revolution. Daily Telegraph. 4 March 2017
Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order. Daily Telegraph. 10 August 2016
Rob Matheson. Doubling battery power of consumer electronics: New lithium metal batteries could make smartphones, drones, and electric cars last twice as long.
MIT News. August 16, 2016
James Murray. UK energy storage tipped to exceed 1.6GW by 2020. Business Green. 16 January 2016
Battery storage: Positive outlook? The Energyst. August/September 2016
Some organisations involved in energy storage
20MW by 2020. The Electricity Storage Network. An industry group for companies and organisations active in the design, use and research of electricity storage for network connected applications.
Books on battery storage available in hard copy from the EI library
Larminie, J Lowry, J Electric vehicle technology explained
Grantham Briefing paper: Electrical energy storage for mitigating climate change