With recent news that UK power stations slashed emissions 23% in just two years, and that wind turbines generated enough electricity for 97% of Scotland's household electricity needs last year, it's fair to say that the UK's energy mix is changing fast.
In fact, the government has already committed to phasing out coal as early as 2025.
Adding renewables and other low carbon energy sources alone is just not going to be enough to keep this level of change going. Energy storage will have to be a part of the mix too. But here too, change is likely to be happening at incredible rates. BusinessGreen reports on projections from environmental consultancy Eunomia (article is behind a paywall), who are predicting a rather astounding growth rate from just 24MW of energy storage today to somewhere around 1.6GW by 2020.
Interestingly, looking at Eunomia's press release on the report, the company is predicting that much of the growth will come from end users adding energy storage as a financially advantageous way to consume more of the energy they produce and/or take advantage of off-peak pricing:
"Eunomia’s analysis suggest that ‘behind the meter’ applications, installed by energy users are the most attractive investment proposition, given growing differences between peak and off peak retail prices, coupled with increasing charges from the distribution and transmissions operators. With minor regulatory changes, however, the installation of batteries into the distribution network could also become a major contributor to increased grid flexibility, whilst also increasing capacity for more renewable generation."
Increased adoption of energy storage technologies by home owners and businesses may help to mitigate recent policy uncertainty around solar subsidies. After all, if you can store and use more of your power yourself, thus avoiding retail electricity rates, who cares what the government and utilities are willing to pay you for it?