Advanced electricity network and storage technologies offer significant savings in U.K.


London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — August 28, 2012 – Innovation in electricity network and storage (EN&S) technologies could save the U.K. from £4-19 billion in deployment costs to 2050, with significant possible additional value offered by enabling the deployment of other key technologies, according to a new report.

Further, such innovation could also help create U.K.-based business opportunities that could contribute an estimated £6-34 billion to GDP to 2050, the report finds.

The report from the cross-government Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG) says that while there is significant uncertainty over the extent to which different EN&S technologies will be deployed to 2050, high levels of uptake are possible. Potential deployment by 2050 includes:

  • 601-2,307 km of HVDC advanced transmission cables
  • 28-70 deployments of advanced smart distribution control systems
  • 7-59 GW of total grid connected electricity storage capacity
  • 11-70% household penetration of energy management systems (EMS)
  • 53-100% penetration of demand response (DR) controllers in appliances
  • 5-36 million electric vehicle (EV) charging controllers.

Some of these EN&S technologies are available already, but many of them are still expensive or not yet ready for wide deployment and integration in the electricity system. Therefore further innovation could drive down the cost of their deployment, with the savings to 2050 estimated at £0.6 billion (£0.2-0.8 billion) in advanced transmission, £0.2 billion (£0.2-0.3 billion) in smart distribution, £5 billion (£2-10 billion) in storage, £2 billion (£1-5 billion) in home hubs, £0.3 billion (£0.3-0.4 billion) in demand response, and £1 billion (£0.2-2 billion) in EV integration.

Innovation also has the potential to unlock benefits by enabling the deployment of other low carbon technologies. However, a key innovation challenge will be integrating the diverse range of mutually-dependent EN&S technologies into effective systems. This successful integration will be important to deployment of these technologies and will be critical to realizing their full benefits.

The report also notes that the innovation areas with the biggest benefit to the U.K. are the integration of distribution-level EN&S technologies, EV integration technologies and installation methods, particularly for V2G controllers, improved storage technologies including thermal-to-electric storage, lithium-based batteries, sodium-based batteries, and redox flow batteries, and EMSs that are tailored to the UK context and designed to overcome consumer acceptance challenges.

With its competitive strength in these technology areas, the U.K. could capture a 4% share of a global market with potential cumulative gross value-added of between £0.3-1.6 trillion up to 2050.