National Grid has reduced its forecasts for electricity storage capacity in the UK down to just 10.7GW by 2050 in the most ambitious scenario set out within its future projections for the energy sector. The latest Future Energy Scenarios (FES) document, published on Thursday, suggested the greatest level of storage would be deployed under its ‘Consumer Power’ scenario, which predicts a highly economic market driven by innovation over environmental concerns. However, in the same scenario in 2016’s document, National Grid predicted 18.3GW of storage by 2040, with both years’ forecasts suggesting storage would predominantly be used at the distribution network level to accommodate rising local energy. Speaking at the FES 2017 launch event, National Grid’s head of energy insights Marcus Stewart explained the reduction is down to “improved” modelling used to determine the amount of storage capacity needed to smooth generation in each scenario. “Last year was the first year we included battery storage in the scenario modelling and we had a reasonably simplistic approach. This year we’ve built on that and improved the modelling in that area, so the values we’ve calculated this year are lower because we’ve looked at the arbitrage value and if you go to a theoretical maximum, you start to see the cannibalisation of revenues,” he said.
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