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Energy storage is key to achieving net zero

To achieve net-zero we will need robust energy storage, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham. 

At a webinar attended by industry, academic and policy experts, researchers at the University of Birmingham have set out a comprehensive roadmap outlining the role that energy storage will play in helping the UK to reach its net-zero targets.

Achieving net-zero targets will depend on the growth of renewable energy sources such as wind and tidal power, but because the energy generated by renewable sources varies, there is an increasing need for robust energy storage technologies – for both electricity and heat – which can keep energy systems stable and reliable.

To achieve these goals, the roadmap sets out a series of key recommendations to guide future research and policy priorities, including:

• Strengthen research and development in electrochemical batteries.
• Reform the electricity market and its regulation to enable energy storage technologies to compete in the marketplace.
• Increase innovation support for large-scale energy storage technologies.
• Invest in Electric Vehicle manufacturing in the UK.
• Ensure that policy and regulation keep pace with technical innovation.
• Carry out systems analysis and modelling to improve understanding of the role that energy storage can play to meet the needs of future power generation.
• Establish institutional competencies to allow energy storage to be operated across scales, whilst delivering a wider system benefit.

Lead author, Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, said: ‘Energy storage will play a critical role as we continue to integrate low-carbon energy systems.

‘In order to accelerate this transition, we need robust energy storage technologies and clear strategies for implementing them. This roadmap will be important for prioritising and guiding current and future activities.’

Professor David Elmes, who chaired the roadmap’s launch webinar, added: ‘It’s great to see that the Energy Storage Research & Innovation Roadmap looks at electricity and heat together. The seasonal demand for heat greatly exceeds the UK’s current electricity demand. A roadmap that covers multiple uses of energy is essential – heating, cooling, our current uses of electricity and also the rising demand as we electrify transport through EVs.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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