04 June 2018

June Horizon Scan: keeping you up to date with smarter energy

A round-up of the latest UK energy storage and smart energy news brought to you by Connected Energy.

Brexit stalls storage

Energy Storage News is reporting that Brexit is stalling progress on energy storage.

It says the UK government’s Head of Smart Energy has admitted Britain's planned departure from the European Union is causing delays in the passage of primary legislation to define energy storage, which may not be achieved until 2022.

Will Broad conceded that the vote to leave the European Union, and the associated legislative requirements, meant that time could not be secured within government to move forward on storage.

“We’re still seeking opportunities for parliamentary time to define storage in primary legislation and Brexit is making this difficult. But we still commit to do it this Parliament,” he said.

The Connected Energy view: energy storage is crucial to our collective future as a nation. Parliament must find space for our low carbon priorities, even amid the complexities of Brexit.

Energy storage revolution within 10 years is essential, says E.ON

EDIE reports that E.ON chief executive Michael Lewis believes a storage revolution is coming.

“If we have wind generation offshore in winter, we need to know how to bring that into the summer and I think that something like power to gas is one solution to that problem,” he said.

“There are, of course, many other potential solutions which are all in different stages of development, but I expect a similar situation to the one we had with renewable energy where numerous technologies emerged at once.

“Over time, we can work out which ones have the best potential, and they will then scale, driving costs down, meaning we will have solved the issue.”

He said he believed that the trend of decreasing costs of energy storage technologies was sure to continue due to the demand for grid stabilisation, enabling businesses to scale up their battery storage plants.

83,500 new electric charging points are needed

Auto Express cites a report, which argues the UK needs a six-fold rise in electric vehicle charging points by 2020, if it wants to keep up with electric car demand.

The report, carried out by data company Emu Analytics, finds that currently there are only 16,500 charging points in the UK.

Emu predicts that there will be over a million electric vehicles on the road by 2020, with 150,000 registered as of May 2018. However, due to the low amount of charging points, there are currently nine plug in EV’s for each charging point in the UK.

CEO of Emu Analytics Richard Vilton said: “Ultimately the UK, by investing in the right way early, has the opportunity to be a global leader in electric vehicles, benefiting businesses, towns, cities and communities by preparing for a sustainable future.”

The Government has put £440 million aside to be spent on delivering a better charging infrastructure.

The Independent also carried the story, noting that currently only 3% of supermarkets have a charging point.

Asda has the best coverage, with chargers at 19% of its stores, while Tesco has the worst, with chargers at just 0.4%.

The Connected Energy takeaway

The sense this month is that faster progress, across all aspects of storage, smart energy and indeed electric vehicles, is sorely needed.

The UK has enviable goals on low carbon, CO2 mitigation and clean air. But without concrete action and a sense of urgency, these may go unmet.