Dr Tim Fox previews his talk at Ecobuild
Thursday 6 March, 14.15 - 15.45
Advances in energy storage technologies
Energy storage technologies: overview and opportunities in the current policy landscape
Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment, Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Government aspirations and national targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are driving the deployment of renewable energy technologies globally.
In Europe this is evident in the efforts being made across the EU to meet a target of 20% of energy demand sourced from renewables by 2020 and in the UK the previous government legislated for a long-term ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, relative to 1990 levels, by 2050.
These targets require effort in all sectors of the economy, including transport and heat uses as well as electricity generation. However it is in the latter that short-term focus is being applied and it is the intermittent sources of wind and solar that are dominating deployment markets, with wave and tidal offering future opportunity.
As installed capacities rise in the coming years, energy storage will become ever more critical to ensuring electricity grid stability, optimised returns on deployment investments and reduced infrastructure costs.
Beyond centralised energy systems, storage will also have a significant enabling role to play at the domestic and community level in local systems based on renewable sources.
Driven by environmental aspirations, a desire to enhance local energy security, market participation opportunities, the building of community resilience or simply gaining access to a reliable off-grid energy supply, utilisation of a broad range of storage technologies at varying scales is certain to emerge locally in the coming years.