How is energy storage key to net-zero ambitions?
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.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.