How is energy storage key to net-zero ambitions?

By Dan Weatherley
A speaker at the Scottish Renewables Conference highlighted the importance of energy storage for the future of carbon reduction goals...

A conference is held annually for those keen to follow net-zero emission goals in Scotland. Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference was hosted online between 1-3 September.

A wide variety of speakers from various companies and organisations took part in the conference. A highlight of the conference was Mark Wilson’s explanation surrounding the cruciality of energy storage in relation to net-zero energy goals.

Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of ILI Group, explained: “The recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the power system can be seen as an early warning of future threats to Net Zero and higher bills unless market design is changed to increase the amount of storage on the system.

“For example, during COVID, the ESO has made payments to curtail low carbon output so that gas plant can run to keep the system stable. Record high balancing payments of £718m have been made over the last 5 months. Pumped storage at scale could have reduced these costs and increased low carbon output.”

“We believe this is now the ideal time to make the market changes needed to incentivise long-term energy storage infrastructure projects such as pumped storage hydro and help propel the country into the green recovery the economy and the planet badly needs”

In addition to Wilson’s speech, Simon Hamlyn, CEO for the British Hydro Association said, “There is a view that as the economy eventually opens up across the country, there may well be a conflict between boosting economic activity and encouraging a sustainable green agenda.

“But is there really such a conflict? pumped storage hydro demonstrates how both these elements can work together to mutually beneficial effect. These are large infrastructure projects essential for the long-term well-being of the UK economy and for future employment. At the same time, they will help meet both the UK and Scottish Governments’ green energy targets”

ILI Group is part of plans to build a 450MW pumped storage hydro located at Dores on the Shores of Loch Ness. The company also plans another 1.5GW of PSH in the pipeline.

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