Transpower: Energy storage systems could be game changing for New Zealand
In the wake of New Zealand being announced as the world leader in zero emission renewable grid electricity, now at 85%, Transpower New Zealand has revealed that the construction of energy storage systems across the country could be game changing for the country’s economy by 2020.
Transpower has particularly highlighted that distribution-connected or community scale batteries are expected to play a major factor economically for both homes and businesses.
“We are actively evaluating opportunities for using new technologies throughout our network,” said Stephen Jay, Transpower’s General Manager for Grid Development.
“We are preparing for what that future looks like and this battery research is the first of a number of reports we will release looking at technologies that could possibly have an impact on our business.”
In light of the company’s research, Transpower is now set to start conducting trials of battery storage systems, working with industry leaders to push for pricing reforms that the company believes is needed to “unlock the value of battery systems to maximise their value”.
“Battery projects at lower voltage distribution substations and at a consumer level are forecast to be economic in the next few years, due to the declining cost of battery systems,” Jay continued.
“Over time, we believe they will also become economic for the high voltage transmission grid and this will then provide battery resilience across the whole supply chain.”
The report predicts that battery storage systems are expected to delay and even replace the need to build thermal peaking plants, and should also reduce the cost of electricity to consumers over time.
Furthermore, Transpower states that a greater emphasis on battery storage projects would support national plans to implement electric vehicles more readily, with government agenda aiming to up the existing number of electric automobiles from 3,000 to 64,000 by 2022.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.