July 11, 2019: The launch of the UK government’s ‘Green Finance Strategy’ on July 2 has immediately provoked calls for greater investment in grid scale battery storage from potential investors.
“It’s a must if renewable energy is to become viable,” says Ben Guest, head of investment management firm Gresham House New Energy.
Guest said the UK’s commitment to a cleaner energy mix, and to make the transition to renewable energy sources possible, “significant investment is needed in grid-scale energy storing batteries”.
“Renewables produce an emissions free yet intermittent supply of energy to the national grid, meaning alternative, often polluting sources are being relied upon to fill the gaps,” he said.
He said there were sound economic reasons for this too. “During sustained periods of sunlight and windy conditions, the UK can produce more energy than it needs to run entirely on renewables, meaning any excess is simply lost. For example, National Grid paid £162 million ($210 million) in ‘constraint’ payments to wind farms in the 12 months to April 2019, a bill ultimately picked up by the consumer.
“With renewable energy penetration predicted to grow to meet 50% of the UK’s total electricity demand by 2021, the issue of wasted oversupply could become a daily problem.”
Investors, he said would participate in the UK’s ‘energy transition’ as well as earn income.
The Gresham House Energy Storage Fund was launched by Gresham House New Energy in November 2018, aiming to deliver returns from investments in utility-scale energy storage systems.