May News: Reset Connect, UNECE Report, Emissions Added Tax

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”. The programme can be found here. He’ll also be exhibiting on both 27th and 28th, and looks forward to meeting you there.

Cost of Inaction Greater than Cost of Energy Transition

In United Nations Economic Council of Europe UNECE reports for which our CTO Mark Howitt was consulted as an expert, the conclusions included:

  • The cost of the energy transition is $28 trillion; the cost of inaction over 60% higher at $45 trillion;
  • On current actions, emissions increase until 2045, then level off – but don’t significantly decrease within the 2055 horizon;
  • There is no level playing-field with emitting technologies which currently benefit from huge explicity subsidies for exploration, production and processing, and implicit subsidies from under-priced environmental harm;
  • Another future is eminently possible, but governments must act now and create policies and a level playing-field.

Grid Connection Lead Times Hit the News

Grid connection lead times are 10-20 years in the British distribution and transmission grids, which has hit the news recently, e.g. City A.M., Daily Telegraph, BBC, and parliamentary debates. The entire industry has been flagging up for a decade that this is a growing problem that risks derailing the energy transition. Storelectric could greatly alleviate this, for example saving over half of the £3bn spent on grid reinforcement for each GW of new offshore wind. Other than that, the problem will only be solved when three things happen:

  1. Electricity storage is given its own regulatory definition, and deemed as creating grid capacity rather than consuming it – as it acts counter-cyclically to grid need and excess;
  2. Grids are built to forecast need rather than in response to connection applications, and the grid extension costs are socialised i.e. charged to all via Use of System charges rather than charged to individual projects which is prohibitive;
  3. Developers are prevented from “banking” grid connection offers for long periods without projects being worked upon actively.

Global Subsidy Race: A Better Way

There is a global race to subsidise clean technologies, with the big blocs (China, America, the EU) having the funds to out-gun smaller countries and attract cleantech industries away from them, especially as Covid-19 and the recent Putin-created energy crisis left most with high national debts.

But there is a much better and cheaper way to compete, that would provide a much stronger and longer-lived incentive at zero or low levels of subsidies: an Emissions Added Tax. By announcing the intention soon, with cross-party support, businesses would be assured of strong returns on investment when it is introduced, which is likely to be before the investment is complete.

Storelectric Speaks at IPowerE Webinar

As a follow-on to the talk given at the Institute of Power Engineers, reported in last month’s newsletter, Mark was invited to present at a webinar set up for those who couldn’t attend the in-person event. This is a much better recording of the same presentation (with different Q&A): Enabling Renewables to Power Grids.

Mark’s Blog

BEIS have just closed a consultation called ‘Introducing non-price factors into the Contracts for Difference scheme’. CfDs are only about energy quantity, not quality (e.g. dispatchability, synchronicity) and therefore totally unsuited to both storage and renewables and storage. Mark’s blog this week is his three page response to this consultation, outlining how CfDs could be made suitable for not only electricity storage but also hydrogen.

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