Industrial Strategy Fund: battery dreams and regulation realities - Schneider Electric comment

July 24, 2017

Darren Farrar (pictured), energy segment manager at Schneider Electric comments:

“As the world’s need for consistent, reliable energy grows, we need to embrace innovative ways of generating and making the most of the power at our disposal. Using energy storage to unlock extra potential in renewable energy is one way to do this and it’s encouraging to see the Government creating mechanisms for this to take shape.

“Within the next 15 years, the UK is expected to lose 39GW of generating capacity due to the government’s continuing programme of coal and nuclear power plant decommissioning. To meet this capacity challenge, providers and policy-makers across the globe are having to think outside the box. This is why excitement is building around the potential of battery storage. While the government is making an important step forward in terms of investment, it’s important that they stick to their promise of developing appropriate and forward-thinking regulation concurrently. For example, how will storage work in relation to the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme?darrenfarrar

“Existing wind farms that were built under the scheme receive ROCs via a meter fitted to the farm. Therefore, there will need to be a physical modification to the private network on any site in order to fit a battery and still be accredited under the scheme. This creates two immediate issues. A need for projects to be re-accredited in order to maintain membership of the ROC scheme and net-export of electricity through the ROC meter being reduced due to losses within the battery itself. Ofgem must clearly set out how it is going to deal with these re-accreditations and losses, and be pragmatic and pro-active in creating a positive environment for investors.”

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