Energy Storage for Renewable Energy

Energy storage capacity is on the increase in the UK. With the announcement of a major new deal to deliver two 50MW batteries in large storage facilities in Oxford and Kent by the end of 2020. This will deliver 100MW of storage, enough to power over 36,000 homes.

33% of the UK’s electricity currently comes from renewable energy sources. This figure is increasing as new solar power and wind farms are built. Large facilities will allow for the storage of energy during peak generation times, releasing it when needed.

Low Carbon Future

As we shift towards a low carbon future with increasing amounts of electric vehicles on the roads, the demand on the grid will increase. Large energy storage stations will play an important role for the future stability of the grid. But it’s not just about the national scale, home and commercial energy storage for renewable power is becoming more popular.

Domestic Home Energy Storage

Marketing of battery technologies like Tesla, Sonnen, and BYD have increased the excitement about the potential of energy storage. For the 700,000 homes that have solar PV panels, storing cheap power could be the next big step. Those considering installing a new solar panel installation, energy storage has to be a consideration. Battery storage enables people to store the electricity they produce and use it when they need it. This saves money of their electricity bill.

What type of Energy Storage is right for me?

Energy Storage comes in different shapes and sizes so a worth considering the following.

  • The size of battery capacity required and the scale of costs and return on investment.
  • How long is the warranty on the battery, at best currently 10 years, so replacement should be considered in any feasibility.
  • Knowing the amount of energy generated should be forecasted, are you interested in self consumption or selling the excess energy back to the Grid.
  • Will the battery be hidden away or on view, costs vary on products that are seen as furniture or practical.

Battery storage requires an inverter. Inverters convert the solar-generated direct current (DC) to household AC. The same principles apply on cost, warranty (12 years), & performance which should be included in the calculations.

Battery technologies already allow homeowners to participate in the energy market by selling stored electricity back to the grid. A number of energy providers buy energy from existing and new PV installations at great rates using the governments Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). This income should be included in investment forecasts.

Certainly cost is still an issue for many people. Prices of batteries are still falling, they look more attractive now than ever. As we move towards a low carbon society with more devices, tech, and vehicles running on renewable energy, we’re likely going to see far greater take-up of energy storage in the future.

Questions you should consider when thinking about Energy Storage

It’s important to talk to your equipment provider to make sure you get an energy storage system that is right for you. We suggest a feasibility study that addresses ethical and independent answers to the following.

  • Why do you recommend I have an energy storage system?
  • Will the system save me money and help avoid times of expensive electricity?
  • How much carbon will I save?
  • Have you taken into account my particular patterns of energy use in the house?
  • Is it expensive to install and to replace the batteries when they need it?
  • How long will the batteries last, and what do the warranties cover?
  • Do I need to know about managing the system and maintaining it?
  • What is the usable storage capacity in kilowatt-hours (kWh)?
  • Can I run emergency power in the event of a power cut?

Will energy storage for renewable power be your next choice?

Stephen Dootson

Commercial Director