Three UK universities have been awarded funding from the Government-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to research the technology and economics of energy storage.
The University of Warwick is leading the £3.7 million ‘Integrated Market-fit and Affordable Grid-scale Energy Storage’ project along with the universities of Nottingham and Loughborough. The project hopes to identify secure, environmentally-friendly and affordable power for the UK.
Energy storage is agreed to be vital to keeping the lights on as more renewable technologies come online globally. Currently energy is hard to store but as grid systems rely on intermittent sources such as the wind and the waves, storing excess energy will be important.
Leading the team is Professor Jihong Wang from the University of Warwick, who said the UK’s changing energy landscape would put pressure on our generation needs: “With coal and gas-fired power stations these can be fired up or down to respond to changes in demand – but introducing renewable energies such as wind power can make the system less responsive.
“Improvements in energy storage are therefore vital to ensure the grid keeps running smoothly as renewable energy generation increases.”