Cryogenic storage could solve UK energy problems

Energy storage could plug the gap left by irregular, unpredictable renewable energy sources like wind power. This claim comes as the UK’s first cryogenic plant plans to open next month. […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Energy storage could plug the gap left by irregular, unpredictable renewable energy sources like wind power.

This claim comes as the UK’s first cryogenic plant plans to open next month.

Toby Peters at Highview Power Storage told ELN, “Energy storage is the missing link if you want an integrated solution, and if you want to address the low carbon agenda and security of supply.

“Low capital cost is one of the main benefits, as well as the ability to harness low grade waste heat. It’s also very scalable. You can scale up or down the power you take off or put on to the grid.”

The Slough-based plant uses liquid nitrogen to store and release energy. Highview believes it is the only cryogenic energy storage unit in the world.

However, energy storage isn’t currently high on the government’s agenda in the EMR.

A DECC spokesperson told ELN: “This isn’t something that we’re looking at in the EMR at the moment, because it’s very nascent technology.

“We do think it will be useful in the future, and will be vitally important with renewables. It absolutely has a role to play, but we see it as a long term solution.”