June News: Storelectric Purchases CAES Technology Company

Storelectric Buys CAES Technology Company

Storelectric has completed the purchase of TES CAES Technology Ltd, broadening Storelectric’s portfolio of CAES intellectual property and strengthening the company’s offerings in energy storage and integrated projects.

Storelectric Speaking at Reset Connect 28th June

Mark will be speaking at Reset Connect (which bills itself as “The UK’s leading Sustainability & Net-Zero Event”) in Excel, London on 28th June, 12:15, Innovation and Technology Hub, on the subject of “LDES enabling the energy transition”. Programme here. He’ll also be exhibiting on both 27th and 28th, stand 500, and looks forward to meeting you there.

Ofgem’s Net Zero Mandate

The British government has announced that the Regulator will acquire a new statutory mandate to support the country’s energy transition to Net Zero. This is excellent and has been welcomed widely in the industry, as regulations and contracting systems are likely to be changed (or at least tweaked) in that direction.

UK Capacity Market Changes

Following a consultation to which we responded, the government proposes changing the Capacity Market in two steps:

  1. By the 2024 CM auctions: reform the way in which connection capacity is determined; allow mothballed plants to bid; extend the period of grace for non-delivery from 21 to 35 working days; clarify the auction mechanics; amend CfD transfer notices; make material changes to contracts easier; delay fossil fuel emissions declaration verification.
  2. After that, improve mechanisms and procedures; reduce the emissions intensity limit for new plants; expand access to multi-year contracts for low carbon generation with low capital costs; introduce new 9-year CM contracts.

In general, they’re good but don’t address the problems of (among others):

  • Bidders winning contracts that are aimed at long durations with single-year bids – a second bite at the one-year contract cherry, that accounted (in one auction) for 85% of all awards and crowds out new-build from the contracts that they need;
  • Existing plants (which don’t need the contract security) bidding for 15-year contracts, to enable many more assets to be built with long-term finance;
  • Lead times for delivery of the contracts being too short to allow for new grid connections;
  • Incentivising lower-emissions plants when bidding against higher-emissions ones.

Hydrogen for Heating and Cooking is Unlikely in UK

Grant Shapps has announced that the UK is unlikely to pursue hydrogen for domestic and commercial heat. This is good, as it directs the hydrogen strategy away from wrong pathways and into more fruitful ones. Hydrogen is one of the highest grades of energy, and heat one of the lowest; for this reason it takes ~6x as much energy (whole system) to heat a building with hydrogen as with a heat pump – and that information is from hydrogen advocates. But appropriate uses of hydrogeninclude industrial (e.g. iron, steel), transportation, chemical processes, synthetic chemicals/fuels, industrial-scale heating (many hundreds of degrees C) and any seasonal storage that is required. All these require pure hydrogen in the gas pipes, not a mix of hydrogen and natural gas. Not only are salt caverns like ours the only cost-effective way to store the hydrogen in the required massive bulk, but also our integrated projects are the most cost-effective and efficient way to deliver this strategy.

Mark’s Blog

This month Mark’s blog looks at the very topical question of energy security, focusing on Europe but applicable world-wide. The first page is an Executive Summary, followed by five pages of further detail.

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