Power exports from batteries to Great Britain’s distribution network has risen by nearly 10,000% in just four years, according to a report by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and ElectraLink.
Battery storage systems discharged around 49GWh of capacity onto the nation’s grid— distribution level— network last year, up from 50MWh in 2014.
Adoption of batteries mirrored that of renewable energy, with solar photovoltaic (PV) exports into the power networks rising from 194GWh in 2012 to 8TWh last year.
The vast majority of GB’s total storage capacity of 2.5-3GWh is pumped hydro, with batteries accounting for 3-500MW.
The organisations identified these increases from data provided by ElectraLink’s Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH).
Frank Gordon, head of policy at REA, told BEST Battery Briefing: “It’s interesting data because the decarbonisation of the electricity networks is happening largely on the distribution network, and we have quantified that for the first time.”
The data also highlights the change in power supply, with exports from dispatchable, fuelled technologies (or weather-independent) sources dropping to under 40% last year from 60% in 2012.
The figures show the growing need for Distribution Network Operators to buy flexibility and evolve into Distribution System Operators as the nature of power supply and demand moves to a two-way structure.
Paul Linnane, ElectraLink’s head of Energy Market Insight, said: “What we’ve found in the data is an unprecedented view of where embedded generation is going in contributing to the energy mix.
“An exponential increase like this cannot be ignored as networks plan for more solar PV to be connected, and especially with the uptake of electric vehicles.”
REA and ElectraLink have used the data in their ‘Flexible Futures’ report, which outlines GB’s energy landscape roadmap for the next decade.
A full package of data pertaining to exports to the distribution networks, smart meters and renewable energy suppliers switching, will be released on 24 October.