The sustainable power grid will rely on a mix of technologies – some yet to be invented and some already here.
Piller welcomes new UK Government technology investment fund for energy storage and renewable generation.
The UK’s Government’s Green Agenda is powering ahead. In March 2021 it announced over £90 million of new investment for green energy technology development as part of its £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
Of the £92 million, £68 million will be focused on the development of new energy storage solutions with the remainder funding new technologies in floating offshore wind and biomass energy generation.
New energy storage solutions are a vital part of the green energy revolution that will allow the power grid to effectively utilise the intermittent green generation from sources such as PV and Wind.
The shift to PV and wind is already happening. According to figures released in February 2021 by the IEA (International Energy Agency) “Global emissions from the electricity sector dropped by 450 million tonnes in 2020. This resulted partly from lower electricity demand but also from increases in electricity generation by solar PV and wind.”
Exciting advances in new fuels, new storage methods and new distribution technologies will be funded by the green power technology fund. Investment in new technologies is vital if we are to reach industry, national and global sustainability targets for GHG emission reductions and Piller, as a ‘best in class’ global provider of critical power solutions welcomes the Government’s investment.
As Piller, we also see that the goal of reducing carbon emissions to tackle climate change must focus not only on the long-term energy storage, but also the short-term balancing within new energy generation methods and a distribution network that is seeing multi-directional power flow. Power will no longer simply flow from the generator to the user but also from the demand side back to the grid.
Piller is well placed to immediately step up to this challenge with products from its current range that can be deployed to drive the energy sector’s green revolution, and the green revolution in many other energy intensive industries.
Solutions utilising kinetic energy storage (KES), manage a bi-directional power flow between the KES and local network to stabilise utility grid, gas generation and site demand. The opportunity is there to deliver similar solutions with Lithium-Ion battery backup that offer longer term storage.
Piller already provides integrated solutions with combined heat & power (CHP) gas generation, removing the need for diesel powered generation from sites such as transport hubs, manufacturing and processing and data centres. The next step will the see the integration with the highly intermittent generation of both wind and solar paired with short- and long-term storage solutions.
Piller’s solutions allow multiple sources of energy to be channelled into useful stored energy which can be returned to the grid. This provides additional ‘ballast’ or inertia to the power system in question, normally a function of the ‘hot rotating capacity’ provided by traditional fossil fuel power stations thus further aiding de-carbonisation of the grid.
As use of Solar and Wind energy sources proliferates, the grid may experience intermittent generation but the demand for availability is only likely to go up as the world goes electric – think of the number of Electric Vehicles that will need street side charging in the next five years. These and other new usage profiles are set to sharply increase demand meaning the utilities must solve the issue of intermittent supply.
In addition to being a highly sustainable investment for industrial consumers of energy, Piller’s units can also deliver real world savings during high tariff periods. Piller technology can also enable some renewable generators to choose when to export their electricity to the grid, providing the potential to maximise earnings in line with prevailing demand.
The opportunity to operate a sustainable grid with energy flowing multiple directions is not only in the future. It is now.
Energy storage innovation
Of the £92 million government investment, £68 million will further the development of energy storage technologies to support a future renewable energy system. These new innovations will accelerate the commercialisation of a first-of-a-kind storage that can hold energy from wind turbines and solar panels, as well as heat, over long periods of time, including months and years, until it is needed by consumers.
The supply of energy from renewable sources can be intermittent, so effective storage is important to ensuring clean energy that is reliable. Energy storage is expected to be one of the key components in a smarter, more flexible low-carbon energy system which can maximise the use of renewable generation.