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Star gazing: where next for storage in GB?

Tom Palmer Managing Consultant

2018 was a year of real progress for battery storage technologies. A recent Mercom Capital Group assessment identified some $850mn (£653mn) of investment raised by venture capitalists in the sector, an increase of nearly 20% on the previous year. The number of deals increased by more than 50% from 30 to 49. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, increased to $1.3bn (£1bn) in 2018 compared to $890mn (£683mn) in 2017. Universe The deployment to date has been for different reasons: provision of grid services, costs falling rapidly towards grid parity, network charge avoidance and reduced costs of network reinforcement and management. The business models employed vary from market to market. But the desire to deploy and pilot storage is growing as electricity systems continue to change with thermal generation stations closing and increasing deployment of renewables technologies. System change is incentivising investment in a wide range of demand-side solutions but notably battery storage. There is no doubt 2019 will be another year of rapid growth for battery storage technologies globally. The market rules and constant changes to them have hindered the business case, but deployment has continued with the hope of changing and capturing opportunities. However, the timing of any investment decision is important as the market adapts and evolves. Here, we take a closer look at the prospects. The biggish bang The growth in the storage market here in GB started back in 2016 with the introduction of the Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) balancing service by National Grid. It was of limited ...

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