Household appliances could be switched off remotely when electricity supplies are scarce and programmed to run when power is plentiful under an energy revolution designed to save consumers up to £40 billion by 2050. Greg Clark, the business secretary, yesterday announced government proposals to overhaul the way Britons use electricity. The government wants to encourage energy suppliers to charge different prices through the day and will regulate new standards so that home appliances can be remotely controlled online. It hopes this will encourage households to shift their electricity usage to times when power is plentiful or hand control to a company that can manage this automatically. Ofgem, the energy regulator, said yesterday that it wanted tariffs that varied prices through the day to be commonplace by 2020 and that it would let non-energy companies such as Amazon, which already offers internet-connected home products, to enter the sector and innovate. The plans could enable householders to avoid times of peak electricity demand when using appliances, either to escape high charges or in return for a payment. Dishwashers, for example, could be activated remotely during periods of high supply of cheap renewable energy, such as when a high volume of solar power was produced on a sunny day. Innovation in battery technology would allow more consumers to store electricity imported from the grid at times when energy was cheaper, Mr Clark said. New rules would make it easier for households to generate power using solar panels and then store it in home batteries as well as sell it to the National Grid.
Times 25th July 2017 read more »
The government is right to spot an opportunity in battery development and manufacturing, but the state must be a catalyst, not a micro-manager. This government has been reminded many times of the danger inherent in any industrial strategy. When the public sector tries picking winners in the private sector it is usually on a fool’s errand. Greg Clark, the business secretary, seems to have heeded the warnings. His announcement yesterday of £246 million in funding for battery research was not about picking winners but identifying an area in which Britain must compete, and public money can probably help. Mr Clark has chosen well. The signs are that the world is on the cusp of a surge in demand for heavy duty lithium-ion batteries for domestic and industrial energy storage, and for cars. Important strides have still to be taken to make the next generation of batteries more efficient and durable, and huge business opportunities await whoever creates the capacity to manufacture them on the scale required. The challenge for ministers is to ensure that Britain does not miss out on the latter by focusing too narrowly on the former. This country rightly prides itself on its strength in pure science and research, but in battery technology the United States and China are setting the pace. Britain can still catch up, though the money is to be made by building them. The “Faraday Challenge” outlined by Mr Clark assigns £45 million to establish a virtual “battery institute” to make the latest battery technology affordable for industry. The idea is to enable manufacturers to meet the demand for vehicles and large-scale power storage units for use by homeowners and utilities. In conjunction with much greater use of rooftop solar cells, house- holders will be able to meet their own needs and sell any surplus power to the grid. Utilities will use batteries to narrow the gap between power supply and demand that exists because the sun goes down and the wind can decline to blow.
Times 25th July 2017 read more »
New rules will help households generate and store electricity and sell it back to the National Grid. The first phase of a four-year £246m Government investment into battery technology has been launched in a move that could help bring down household electricity bills. The long-term vision includes creating giant battery facilities around the National Grid to store excess wind and solar energy for when demand rises. In addition, new rules will help households with solar panels to generate and store their own electricity with new battery technology and sell it back to the Grid when they do not need it. They will also reduce costs for people and businesses who power down appliances at peak times and use electricity at cheaper times. The Government and Energy regulator Ofgem estimate that consumers could save between £17bn and £40bn by 2050. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark unveiled details of the first phase, known as the Faraday Challenge, on Monday.
Sky News 24th July 2017 read more »
Electric vehicles, battery storage and “smart” household appliances could save billions of pounds in energy costs by 2050 by helping to smooth supply and demand and avoid costly upgrades to electricity networks, according to the government. National Grid has warned that electric vehicles could create as much as 18 gigawatts of extra demand for electricity at peak times – the equivalent of the capacity of nearly six Hinkley Point nuclear power stations – without the use of such technologies. A study by Imperial College and the Carbon Trust estimates between £17bn and £40bn could be saved by 2050 if technologies such as battery storage and schemes including demand side response become more widespread.
FT 24th July 2017 read more »
Batteries and renewable power sources are on the verge of bringing about an “epochal transformation” of the UK that could make energy clean, abundant and very cheap, according to a cabinet minister. As the government unveiled plans for a more flexible energy system and £246m of funding for battery research, Greg Clark told the Guardian that a smarter grid would “radically” bring down bills.
Guardian 24th July 2017 read more »
Business Secretary Greg Clark has today (24 July) announced details of the first phase of a four-year £246m investment into battery technology as part of the Government’s drive towards a low-carbon industrial strategy.
Edie 24th July 2017 read more »
The Solar Trade Association welcomed the announcement of battery storage and reviews to the rules making it easier for homes and businesses to install the technology alongside PV panels in the UK government’s planned upgrade of the energy system, but warned that these will enable only ‘modest progress’. STA Policy Manager Chris Hewett said: “The solar industry in the UK is gearing up for the integration of PV panels and battery technology. Our research shows that a high penetration of batteries alongside solar power would reduce overall costs to the electricity system and allow the country to have cheap solar at the heart of its power system. “As with any innovative and disruptive technology, the policy and legal system is not set up to accommodate it, which means there are currently few markets for storage. If we want to take advantage of the potential of solar and storage then we need to get the rules right, and fast before innovation is stifled. Policy changes are needed to enable storage to work with solar at all scales.
Scottish Energy News 25th July 2017 read more »
BEIS 24th July 2017 read more »