The energy trilemma considers; energy costs, carbon emissions and security of supply. This has been a problem we have faced for many years. However, energy storage or batteries has delivered the answer, albeit has taken a long time.
Wikipedia says about a trilemma - “There are two logically equivalent ways in which to express a trilemma. It can be expressed as a choice among three unfavourable options - one of which must be chosen; or as a choice among three favourable options - only two of which are possible at the same time.”
Commercial batteries, such as the Tesla Powerpack, have been developed over the last two decades. Their energy density and price has significantly improved, due mainly to the electric vehicle market.
Now, commercial energy storage technology offers businesses a solution not only to the energy trilemma but at an affordable price with attractive returns. In fact, you can now get a battery for free using facilities such as Battery Energy Storage as a Service or BESaaS.
So, let’s look at the energy trilemma:
Energy prices have been on the rise for a few years following a period of stagnation. It is generally accepted that prices will continue to rise as the grid is modernised and decarbonised. Whilst wholesale power prices may have looked flat over the last few years, electricity bills have seen rises due to grid charges, such as:
Distribution Use of System (DUoS) which covers the cost of installing and maintaining the local distribution networks. A charge based on the volume of electricity which has passed through the network, that is consumed at a site. Charges vary depending on your location, time of demand, and are represented by red, amber and green bands.
Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) which covers the cost of installing and maintaining the transmission system. A charge based on your share of demand on the transmission network during its three biggest peak demand periods, known as Triads, which tend to fall between our coldest and darkest months each year i.e. November to February.
Energy storage technology empowers businesses with flexibility. They enable you to participate in the smart grid by importing cheap power to charge your battery and then discharge at peak (red band) times and if you have onsite power generation, such as solar/wind, to increase the value of your embedded generation – you can store power during the right conditions (sunny or windy) to discharge later at the optimal time a.k.a peak shaving.
Peak shaving will not only reduce your electricity bill but can be used to avoid significant grid charges as mentioned above. So, win-win.
If you do not have onsite generation you are still helping the overall decarbonisation of the UK, as you can charge off the grid overnight when utility scale assets such as wind farms are producing lots of power. Plus, it’s cheap power as mentioned above.
Secondly, batteries store onsite power generation at the point of production, which can then be used at a time you feel is best for your operation. Pairing batteries and renewables are quite simply the best way to lower your carbon footprint, and at the same time take an active role in money-making schemes which leads to reducing the payback period for your investment - whether that be energy storage alone or energy storage with renewables.
Finally, unlike gensets that some businesses use as standby power e.g. diesel generators, batteries do not emit greenhouse emissions. So, energy storage is both clean and green.
Security of supply.
Energy resilience has become a hot topic. As the grid takes on more renewables and we move from a dirty centralised network to a cleaner decentralised system, the risk of unexpected power cuts is rising. Commercial energy storage is the best technology to protect operations from unplanned outages (read our blog ‘Counting the cost of a power outage'). As most outages tend to be under two hours a battery will protect you from expensive interruptions.
On a final note, rather than just protecting you (generator) a battery will also enable you to control your energy. Resulting in a system that pays for itself, rather than sitting at your site and depreciating in value week after week, year after year. Also, as you will be using your battery on a regular if not daily basis, you can be rest assured that when you need it, it will be ready. Generators, often sit idly for months on end and even if you do have a monthly maintenance regime you are not guaranteed it will start in an emergency, as it may not have been tested and run for three or four weeks.
Simply put – energy storage enables a business to reduce energy costs, decrease and support carbon reduction and provides you with energy security.
Contact Rock Clean Energy if you want to achieve these three goals and create a revenue stream at the same time. We also offer free batteries, management and full maintenance with our BESaaS facility.
© Written by Shawn Coles, Energise Marketing 93