UK university leads €6.7m EU energy storage research

A university in Northern Ireland is leading an EU-funded cross-border research to develop a range of consumer-owned energy storage resources. Ulster University’s SPIRE 2 project will look at how the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A university in Northern Ireland is leading an EU-funded cross-border research to develop a range of consumer-owned energy storage resources.

Ulster University’s SPIRE 2 project will look at how the variability of electricity going to the network from increasing amounts of intermittent renewable generation can be managed and aims to find ways of cutting costs, identify new technology developments and concepts.

It will look at the best ways of storing electricity and heat from individual homes, factories as well as other big industry users such as hospitals, communities and towns.

The project, which has received €6.7 million from the EU’s INTERREG VA programme, will recruit 17 new PhD researchers.

The announcement follows the UK Government’s launch of the first phase of a £246 million battery storage challenge and plans to encourage consumers to generate, store and use their own energy.

Project Leader Professor Neil Hewitt, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies at Ulster University said: “The announcement by Business Secretary Greg Clark outlines how the UK Government intends to stimulate a drastic modernisation of energy markets.

“The SPIRE 2 project will help to deliver this by looking at how energy storage resources owned by homeowners and businesses can resolve the problem of the variability of output from renewable energy. If consumers can store energy effectively, that will allow very high levels of renewables to be integrated into power grids globally, at the same time as putting consumers at the heart of the energy system.”