UK ‘needs capacity payments for energy storage’

The UK is lagging behind the States on energy storage technologies as there is no payment mechanism for the market. That’s the view of Bali Sahdra, Senior Business Development Manager […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK is lagging behind the States on energy storage technologies as there is no payment mechanism for the market.

That’s the view of Bali Sahdra, Senior Business Development Manager at AES, an energy storage company, who said the UK is “almost five years behind” in comparison to the US.

She told ELN investors need to get a return: “There needs to be a mechanism that allows and recognises energy storage in the same light that other technologies are recognised in and one of those mechanisms is capacity payments.

“There are many countries where energy storage is really progressing because there is more clarity in terms of payment mechanisms and therefore the UK is somewhat behind that because there is no clear mechanism.”

A capacity payment is a fee paid to a generator to ensure the availability of the facility for a given period of time. This sort of system is expected to ensure there is enough reliable capacity in place to meet demand.

Ms Sahdra added energy storage is a “technology enabler” as it provides grid reliability and system security by storing intermittent electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels.

It is also capable of playing a major role in curbing emissions, she suggested, as it allows grid operators to store power from wind farms and release it when power demands shoot up, reducing the need to fire up gas power plants.