A trial to use ‘household batteries’ to help support the electricity grid in London is being ‘rolled out’ further to help deal with peaks in winter demand and reduce carbon emissions in the capital.
An initial trial by UK Power Networks (UKPN) (www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk
) paid 45 households to store energy in batteries in their homes, which the network operator drew on in times of need.
It was so successful that it reduced household evening peak electricity demand by 60% and helped to cut carbon emissions from electricity by 20% for average households.
The home batteries allow consumers to buy electricity when it is at its cheapest and store it for use when grid prices are more costly, helping to cut household electricity bills.
), the Government-backed company behind the battery system, is extending the scheme as part of a second commercial contract in south London.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK has already cut emissions by almost 45% since 1990, while growing the economy by more than three quarters.
"This cutting-edge battery technology, being made right here in London, will help to create a smarter and cleaner energy system for the UK.
"These smart batteries are part of the UK’s green revolution, with the Government investing more than £3 billion in low-carbon innovation, as we aim to end our contribution to climate change entirely by 2050.”
Powervault is working with energy suppliers and electricity network operators to reduce dependency on fossil fuels by shifting energy demand away from peak times.
The batteries use artificial intelligence to optimise home electricity use and can store self-generated clean energy from solar panels, which households can sell back to energy companies, using new export tariffs; they allow owners to get paid for storing renewable energy from the grid when there is an excess of generation.
An Imperial College study estimates that greater electricity system flexibility, such as through using batteries, could save the UK between £17 billion and £40 billion by 2050.
Moreover, smart energy technologies are an area of export potential for the UK, with ‘global investment in smart networks standing at more than $303 billion’.