Nuclear energy is secure but expensive; renewable energy is increasingly affordable but less secure. Furthermore, nuclear production is not dispatchable, so is unable to respond when renewable production is low. By introducing flexibility into the system, storage may offer a solution to the energy trilemma and many companies are now looking at it as a major growth area. However, as is so often the case, the regulation has been slow to catch up with technological developments. There are a number of barriers which prevent the mass uptake of storage. The current regulatory framework was not designed with widespread and integrated storage deployment in mind and one of the biggest obstacles facing companies looking to invest in storage is the lack of any distinct definition of storage within it. When the current framework was being designed, storage was an insignificant part of the energy landscape. A small amount of pumped hydro did exist but given its ability to compete with generation in the provision of bulk energy and balancing services, it was convenient to simply treat it as a form of generation. However the characteristics of pumped hydro are very different from more modern storage technologies which offer a far wider range of services. In ignoring this and in ignoring the fact the storage does not create net positive flows of electricity, the inclusion of storage within the generation definition is no longer appropriate.
Energy Voice 10th Nov 2016 read more »