“In my opinion, the addition of battery energy storage coupled with solar can get renewable penetration to the next level,” said Ioannis Grammatikakis, UK country manager at Power Factors.
Also recognised as co-location, the coupling of renewable generation sources, such as wind and solar, with battery energy storage systems (BESS) could be a crucial development in both stabilising the UK energy grid and maximising the efficiency of renewable generation projects.
Batteries could also see further traction in the UK energy market with government ministers having passed legislation in July that removes barriers for storage projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales. The government hopes that it could lead to storage projects five times the size of those currently in operation.
However, Grammatikakis believes further support could be made in the UK to further incentive the creation of co-location between BESS and solar, much like the German Government has.
“What I’m seeing in countries like Germany are incentives to add batteries into their solar sites. This is an example that I think a lot of countries can follow,” Grammatikakis said during the latest Current± Briefings webinar this morning (25 October).
“In places like California and Australia we see a lot of big-scale solar projects that are being built together with BESS. We need to see this in the UK.”
A method in which the UK could incentivise project developers to co-locate is by creating a “dynamic market” which prompts owners to additionally provide grid services, Grammatikakis indicated.
Another crucial factor discussed by Grammatikakis is the technological advancement that is being achieved via renewable energy system (RES) plants. Grammatikakis said that although RES plants used to be a “liability to the grid” the technological advancements being achieved in the sector as of late have helped the power plants become “smarter” and thus have helped them become an asset.
“RES plants have become smarter, more controllable and more predictable. Batteries are also helping to improve the stability of the grid,” he said.
Smart technologies have also prompted the UK Government to explore the creation of a “digital spine” for the energy system to facilitate efficient system operation, improve access to new markets and support development of new services for a smart and flexible energy system.