Energy Storage – A Vital Tool in the Net Zero Transition

Battery Box Development Team

Climate change and our transition to Net Zero represents the greatest challenge of our generation. The solution will require a range of different technologies and approaches, but one thing is increasingly clear – Energy Storage is a vital tool in our Net Zero armoury.

The question is, how do we move away from fossil fuel generation to sources of renewable energy such as wind and solar, which are weather dependent and frequently geographically remote (offshore wind) while ensuring security of supply and keeping costs down for consumers. One way is through energy storage (aka batteries). There are lots of energy storage technologies, but the most common is Lithium-Ion (similar to the batteries in your phones sitting in your pockets each day). Batteries store the excess energy generated at times when there’s high renewable generation (typically on windy days) but low demand. The batteries then release the energy stored back onto the grid at times of peak demand. By doing so, this alleviates the intermittency problems encountered with renewables by balancing the grid while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, increasing our energy security and aiding in the transition to net zero. Energy storage projects have seen substantial growth in the UK, with 2021 being a record-breaking year for newly submitted energy storage capacity, however this has been dominated by high-voltage, large-scale projects, which require large areas of land to host. These projects also have very complicated investment cases, capital demands and trading strategies which is a barrier for entry for new entrants and public sector organisations.

Simultaneous to the challenge presented by the decarbonisation of energy, the way we use electricity is also changing. There is expected to be a significant growth in demand for electricity over the coming years owing to the electrification of heat and transport with wider take up of heat pumps and electric vehicles. This increase in demand will put considerable strain on local networks, with a recent report published by UK Power Networks highlighting that the additional load required to support EV charging and HP operation will require significant capital investment in the network. UK Power Networks believe that the solution – smaller scale, lower voltage flexibility solutions which are needed to support this additional load have not seen the same level of attention – despite the significant challenges facing local networks.

A solution to both of these problems is AMP’s Battery Box – a 200kW/400kWh energy storage system (enough storage to power for around 200 homes for 2 hours) connecting exclusively at low voltage. This addresses both the need for energy storage to aid in the transition to net zero when working together in aggregate, but also by being at low voltage, each battery box individually can help reinforce the local network.

Hosting a Battery Box is a really straightforward way to become involved in energy storage. At just 2 car parking spaces in size, they are compact enough to be suitable for most sites. AMP does all the liaison with the electrical networks and local planning authority to facilitate the project. We then fund, build and operate the asset, without the need for any complicated Power Purchase Agreements. In the meantime, our landlords receive a rental income for every Battery Box site on their land, as well as building their ESG credentials as every Battery Box saves an estimated 160 tonnes of carbon a year while supporting local networks for greater electrification at the same time too.

Find out more about Battery Box here.