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Battery Power Investments to Power Up Britain's Green Energy Sector

25 Jul 15:00 by Steve Walia

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The renewable energy sector may soon shortly benefit from improvements to battery storage technologies. It is vital to solve the issues around transmission efficiency and steady-state green energy supply on days when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. Many believe that if storage solutions can become more efficient, it will further grow the green energy sector and facilitate increasing moves away from damaging fossil fuel use.

Effective power storage is effectively the holy grail - and current sticking point - for climate change campaigners, as it would ultimately help solar and wind farms match the output efficiencies and spike-free production of polluting power plants.

Currently, batteries are comparatively expensive, but prices have plummeted by over 50pc in recent years, and the market is expanding, with a notable number of new entrants in the US and Germany. Now Britain is getting in on the act and seeing many more home-grown firms testing out the market.

Statoil, the Norwegian group and a RenewableUK member, is building a new wind farm battery system offshore at the floating turbine Hywind project in Scotland in a world first. Its capacity will be equal to over two million Apple iPhones. It's a pilot and micro-scenario at this stage but has the opportunity to transform the industry if more widely adopted.

A Statoil spokesman and Senior VP of Offshore, Stephen Bull, said that conventional power plants would finally feel the threat if better storage could be combined with increased renewable energy capacity. Wind and solar developers are interested in the new technologies for energy storage, and many believe that the market could see a positive disruption in just five to ten years. This will occur as costs come down, manufacturing is standardised and supportive policy is implemented post-Brexit.