P2P energy player lobbies for storage

Battery storage in P2P energy networks could help businesses such as the Eden Project save money. (Pic: Jürgen Matern)

Battery storage in P2P energy networks could help businesses such as the Eden Project save money. (Pic: Jürgen Matern)

By Jason Deign

Peer-to-peer (P2P) power supplier Open Utility is planning to pressure the UK electricity market regulator towards introducing grid-balancing measures that could include energy storage.

The company, which runs an energy marketplace called Piclo, hopes to convince the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) that P2P networks are good for consumers and distributed generation asset owners.

“There are significant benefits in better balancing renewables and demand on a local electricity network,” said James Johnston, Open Utility’s CEO and co-founder. “Energy storage will be key in enabling this balancing.”

Currently, he said, UK regulations do little to encourage the use of energy storage in P2P networks. Piclo, which allows businesses to buy renewable power directly from source, does not currently include storage, for example.

However, Johnston said: “If regulations allow for it, incentivising local balancing using P2P energy matching could unlock significant financial rewards for local consumers and generators.”
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Peer-to-peer energy: an opportunity for storage?

We look at the potential impact of peer-to-peer energy trading networks – such as those from Vandebron in the Netherlands and Open Utility in the UK – on energy storage.

What impact will peer-to-peer energy trading networks – like those from Vandebron in the Netherlands and Open Utility in the UK – have on energy storage? Photo credit: Vandebron

A growing interest in peer-to-peer energy trading raises questions over whether storage could help consumers gain extra benefit from distributed power generation.

Current attempts to trade energy on a peer-to-peer basis are primarily designed to let producers maximise their profits on excess power at the point when it is produced.

The Dutch platform Vandebron, for example, lets consumers buy power directly from independent renewable energy producers such as farmers who own wind turbines.

By eliminating the utility’s margin from the equation, producers can offer consumers cheaper energy and still make more money than they might with a traditional feed-in tariff or off-take agreement.
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Modelling the future of energy storage in Europe

Younicos, the german battery manufacturer, shares its modelling results for the future of energy storage in Europe.

Younicos, the german renewable energy company, shares its modelling results for the future of energy storage in Europe. Photo credit: Younicos

Back at the beginning of this month we published an article on European energy policy that we hoped would stimulate some debate within the energy storage industry. We were not disappointed. Within hours of the newsletter hitting our subscribers’ inboxes, we had a forthright response from Philip Hiersemenzel, spokesperson for German renewable energy company Younicos.

Exporting grid instability

Despite being a self-confessed “big fan” of Energy Storage Report, Hiersemenzel was less than happy about what he saw as accepting at face value figures given by Benedict De Meulemeester, chief executive of the energy consultancy E&C.

These stated that, despite dire predictions of disruption of the grid from an ever-increasing supply of renewables, Germany’s grid actually still had one of the lowest outage rates in the world.
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UK town to install 25 storage systems

Electrovaya distributed energy storage systems should be installed in Bracknell, Berkshire in 2014.

Electrovaya distributed energy storage systems will be installed in Bracknell, Berkshire. Photo credit: Frerix

Electrovaya has recently announced that its SuperPolymer 2.0 technology will be storing electricity in 25 independent, distributed energy storage systems in the UK. Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution will be making the purchase as part of the GBP£30m Thames Valley Vision project. The systems will deliver from 12.kWh to over 80kWh energy capacity.
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Storage helps combat US weather outages

Energy storage can reduce grid outages due to storms like Sandy. Photo credit: The National Guard, New Jersey

Energy storage can reduce grid outages due to storms like Sandy. Photo credit: The National Guard, New Jersey

The Obama administration is touting energy storage as a way to keep the lights on in the event of power outages caused by severe weather. A paper out this month, titled ‘Economic benefits of increasing electric grid resilience to weather outages’, notes weather-related issues are the main cause of blackouts in the country and advocates storage as a way to improve system flexibility and robustness.
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South Africa supports storage

In an update to a story we first ran back in March, the government of South Africa has recently announced its backing for Ballard Power and Anglo American Platinum’s deployment of a domestic fuel cell system. Field trials will test a methanol-fueled product designed for use in off-grid residential applications.
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Two deals add 80MW of US storage

Laurel Mountain, West Virginia – A previous collaborative project between AES and PJM.

Laurel Mountain, West Virginia – A previous collaborative project between AES and PJM. Photo from AES Corporation.

US grid operator PJM Interconnection, whose operations serves 60 million Americans across the Midwest and northeast of the country, has hit the renewables headlines twice this week for signing up to two separate energy storage deals.
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