The Informer

SmartestEnergy Launch our latest report 'Smart Generation: State of the Market 2020'; a new balancing service is set to go ahead; and battery prices are forecast to continue to fall.

  • Smart Generation: State of the Market Report 2020

    Picking up where the Energy Entrepreneurs series left off, SmartestEnergy's latest publication has launched today, showing how renewables are now looking to new opportunities as the COVID-19 pandemic has offered a glimpse into the future of the energy system.

    The report details how record low levels of demand caused by the closure of workplaces across the UK in response to the coronavirus, coupled with favourable weather conditions for renewables, created a new scenario for National Grid to deal with as generation was required to turn down in order to help manage the energy system.

    In order to do this, the System Operator primarily called upon the Balancing Mechanism (BM) alongside a newly introduced service, Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM), which allows National Grid to turn down assets on the distribution network that they were previously unable to access.

    Angus Widdowson, Head of Smart Generation, said:

    "We are already seeing energy entrepreneurs respond to these emerging challenges and opportunities by taking new and innovative approaches to deployment. Co-location with storage to enable greater flexibility remains front of mind as technologies such as solar reach ever closer to grid parity; maximising revenue streams by operating across multiple markets; flexible approaches to selling power; and Corporate PPAs are all playing a part in helping projects deploy without subsidy.”

    Download here

  • New balancing product set to go live after Ofgem green light

    Ofgem has approved National Grid ESO’s proposals for a new ‘Dynamic Containment’ product aimed at helping balance the system.

    The product will be the fastest acting tool available to help deal with rapid changes in system frequency.

    The product is aimed at arresting frequency in low-inertia, large loss scenarios where the Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCoF) is very fast.

    In its proposal to Ofgem, National Grid ESO said the increased prevalence of inertia issues owing to the transition to a more renewable generation system mean that a new product is required to deal with frequency issues if a generator or interconnector causes a large loss on the system.

    The first delivery of Dynamic Containment will start on Thursday 1 October.

    National Grid ESO said the service was part of a suite of faster-acting frequency response products in aims to deliver over the next few years as the energy mix continues to decarbonise.

    The increasing proportion of renewable energy on the system was highlighted by new Government figures last week which showed it accounted for 44.6% share of electricity generation in second quarter of the year. The figure was a record for Q2 and also the second highest share on record.

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  • Battery prices predicted to fall steeply

    Falling costs of battery storage in the years ahead will see it play a growing role in energy grids, according to a report.

    Business intelligence firm IHS Markit predicts the average cost of lithium-ion battery cells could fall below $100/kWh as early as 2023, representing a fall of around $600/kWh over an 11-year period.

    The average cost of a li-ion cell is expected to decline further through the end of the decade to as low as $73/kWh in 2030 thanks to improving economies of scale and reductions in material costs.

    Sam Wilkinson at IHS Markit said lower battery costs will be important in unlocking greater renewable capacity which brings increased intermittency.

    “Improving the cost-effectiveness of energy storage, particularly batteries, will be key to providing needed flexibility to balance this supply of electricity with demand,” he said.

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  • Government seeks views on green gas levy plans

    A consultation has been launched on plans to introduce a green gas levy to reduce emissions and help the UK reach its net zero target by 2050.

    BEIS said the new levy will be applied to gas suppliers and will be used to increase green gas production to help decarbonise the gas grid Green gas – or biomethane – is produced from environmentally-friendly organic waste products. The Government said using more of this gas from renewable sources to power boilers in homes, or in industrial processes in factories, will help to lower carbon emissions and protect the environment without hitting consumers’ pockets.

    Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Reaching net zero means reducing emissions across our entire energy system, including the way we heat our homes and businesses."

    “This new funding will support an ambitious scheme to decarbonise the gas grid that will prevent millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere - another step towards reaching net zero by 2050 at minimal cost to UK bill payers."

    Plans for the Green Gas Levy were first announced in the Budget earlier this year, and BEIS has now launched a consultation which invites views on how the final initiative will be designed and implemented.

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  • Crown Estate awards offshore wind lease agreements

    Six planned offshore wind project extensions have been granted agreements for lease in what the Crown Estate said was a milestone in unlocking new renewable capacity for the nation.

    The extensions, at Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, Greater Gabbard, Galloper, Rampion and Gwynt y Môr, have the potential to deliver a combined 2.8 gigawatts.

    Developers will now be focused on environmental assessments and surveys, before seeking planning consent through the statutory planning process and securing connections to the grid.

    Will Apps, Head of Energy Development at The Crown Estate, said: “Reaching this stage marks an important milestone in the UK portfolio, demonstrating strong market appetite and further strengthening the UK offshore wind pipeline."

    “Extensions projects offer a valuable way of enabling new, low cost offshore wind capacity, making efficient use of our world-class seabed resources and building on developers’ existing project knowledge and infrastructure.”

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