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Battery storage: Balancing risk and reward
Andy Lowe, Head of Business Development at Flexitricity discusses the emerging battery storage opportunity as the UK transitions towards a low-carbon economy. As the development and investor sector is challenged with transitioning the previously heavily subsidised industry into one that is subsidy free, the demand response expert believes there is potential in the fast-growing market space and early movers might have an edge over their competitors.
Renewables’ march to victory can’t happen without increased flexibility in our energy system, which means that battery storage alongside demand response will play a pivotal role in our transition to a low-carbon economy. National Grid predicts that as much as 30GW of installed battery capacity could be required by 2050. The future looks very bright indeed for battery developers and investors, but the road to there is not free of twists and turns.
I started working in the low carbon energy sector twelve years ago, cutting my teeth on large-scale wind energy. Within a couple of years, I was turning my attention toward smaller-scale renewable projects, as both an advisor and a developer. I worked on projects around GB which were to be incentivised by a new Government scheme: the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). For anyone who was at the FiT theme park during the nine years that the scheme was open, it’s fair to say that FiTs were a bit of a rollercoaster. But boy did FiTs hit the objective of stimulating investment. They provided index-linked payments for 20 to 25 years based on what became pretty accurate yield forecasting, all at a time when equipment suppliers were competing on price. Investor confidence was high and finance for the right projects was readily available.