The UK government and energy regulator recently outlined initial proposals for overhauling the country’s energy system. Andy Colthorpe speaks to Anthony Price, director of the Electricity Storage Network trade group, about how the long-awaited document has been received and the key role it envisages for storage.
The potential for storage to help stabilise the grid has finally been recognised in the UK, where battery projects took all of the 200MW on offer in a recent frequency response tender. David Pickup looks at the evolving role of storage in the future grid and how further policy support can help it flourish.
A poor understanding of how European PV arrays perform in Saharan dust outbreaks can have a crippling financial impact on grid operators. Christian Kurz and Lucas Richter of meteocontrol describe a major new research project underway in Germany to improve the forecasting of dust outbreaks and their impact on PV power output.
The technology and financing of the remote microgrid market are maturing. Now improved sales and marketing methods are needed to commercialise the huge potential on offer in this burgeoning market segment.
Energy storage in the US is being propelled forward by falling costs and increasingly favourable markets and policy. But for the full value of storage to be realised, numerous regulatory and fiscal barriers must still be surmounted, writes Matt Roberts.
Rising levels of PV penetration mean increasingly sophisticated forecasting technologies are needed to maintain grid stability and maximise the economic value of PV systems. The Grid Integration working group of the European Technology and Innovation Platform – Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) shares the results of its ongoing research into the advantages and limitations of current forecasting technologies.
The combination of rapidly evolving technologies and the trend towards decentralisation is demanding increasingly sophisticated commercial models. Simon Göß looks at some of the emerging solutions and considers the place of blockchain technology in tomorrow’s energy system.
Deploying battery storage at grid level is relatively uncharted territory, but a number of pioneers projects are now in the ground. Patrick Leslie and colleagues at RES, which built some of the first wave of storage projects, teases out the key technology, finance and regulatory lessons the industry can learn from these early experiences.
One of the claims made about large-scale storage coupled with solar is that it is difficult to justify from a business-case perspective. But evidence is already emerging from early projects that if done right, intelligent battery solutions are already competitive.
Plant control | SCADA technology enables PV plant owners to maintain their portfolios more efficiently and respond to increasingly stringent requirements from grid operators, yet avoid information overload. Sara Ver-Bruggen looks at the state of the art in SCADA systems as PV systems and fleets grow in size.
Grid investment | An ambitious plan is being drawn up to overhaul New York’s electric grid infrastructure, an exercise that some have priced at US$30 billion. Andy Colthorpe looks at the efforts underway to ensure renewables and energy storage are a central part of bringing the state’s power system into the modern age.
Off grid | Reducing the reliance on costly diesel-based power generation is high on the list of priorities for off-grid operators around the world. PV-hybrid systems alone can only go so far in meeting this need. The addition of storage can significantly alter this picture by increasing fuel savings and offsetting additional investment. Increasingly sound economics are already convincing circumspect off-grid operators such as mine owners who are starting to build the first large installations.
Battery technologies | The development of battery storage is seen as vital in the grid integration of increasing amounts of renewable power, but the various technologies present different advantages and limitations. Stephan Lux of Fraunhofer ISE weighs up the pros and cons of the main battery technologies in a range of applications.
Aggregation | Tesla’s much-hyped battery announcement in April raised important questions over what business models will drive the deployment of stationary battery storage. As Andy Colthorpe
reports, one answer is the virtual power plant, in which residential and commercial battery systems are aggregated to provide grid services
The market outlook for utility-scale PV installations is very positive. These PV plants have the capability of supporting grid operation, and the ability to do this is being increasingly required in grid codes. Testing the capabilities of very large PV inverters, however, is demanding for laboratories. Gunter Arnold, Diana Craciun, Wolfram Heckmann and Nils Schäfer from Fraunhofer IWES discuss current developments and resulting challenges and address the gaps and diversity in testing guidelines and standardisation.