Energy storage works by capturing electricity produced by both renewable and non-renewable resources and storing it for discharge when required. The solution allows users to divert consumption away from the grid and switch to stored electricity, at a time most beneficial, giving greater flexibility and control of electrical usage.
The electrical energy grid requires a balance between supply and demand. Energy storage systems are the solution to smoothing that demand profile.
This approach is especially effective with renewable generation, which is intermittent by its nature. Solar and wind, for example, generate little amounts of power in the absence of sunshine or wind. Energy storage is able to smooth out the supply from these sources to provide a more reliable supply that matches demand. This can enable organisations to maximise their renewable energy generation and play an integral role their journey towards carbon neutrality.
At times of unexpected increases in demand on the grid, energy storage can be used to quickly discharge power back to the electrical supply network to provide additional supply to help meet surges in demand.
Driven by advances in technology, the traditional model of electricity provision is being replaced by a smart, flexible energy smart grid powered by energy storage, demand side response (DSR) and inter-connectivity. This responsive system will provide a balance between supply and demand via responsive power generation from both suppliers and consumers resulting in a clean, secure and reliable electricity supply.
Energy storage is key to achieving overarching low carbon and electrical network efficiency targets by
- Deferring or avoiding investment in network reinforcement
- Reducing the need for conventional generation, including peaking power plants
- Meeting binding targets with lower renewable capacity
- Maximizing the use of low carbon, inflexible generation
- Optimizing balancing of the system on a minute by minute basis
At grid level, energy storage reduces stress on the electrical network infrastructure, increases the proportion of renewable on the grid and increases reliability of renewable generation. It also provides efficient demand balancing options for the grid and reduces the need for backup demand generation. For large electricity consumers, energy storage provides flexibility in electricity supply and opportunities for significant costs savings by enabling a switch to stored electricity at peak-tariff periods.