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Lockdown Data Deluge

Lockdown Data Deluge

As PR and Media Manager I’m tasked with writing the company blog which today I am doing from my dining table in the living room, my makeshift office over the past 2 weeks. I’m also sharing the “office space” with my 10-year-old son as his home schooling classroom. My wife who runs her own hair salon from the house (now closed), is now acting as teacher, and disciplinarian to both of us.

Covid-19 has thrown the world into crisis and lockdown measures have now changed the face of human interaction in the workplace and socially to something straight out of the envisaged future in the Steven Spielberg Sci Fi hit movie “Ready player One”, where the inhabitants of earth in 2035 interact through VR to meet, socialise and work. My own living room this week has hosted a Rave Bingo Night and Zumba class streamed through Facebook and a dance class though Zoom. The new “House Party” app is now installed in all family members phones, including grandparents who have been forced to up their game in the tech stakes to stay connected.

Our daily work at ILI Group has been conducted remotely from home since the 16th of March using Zoom for frequent video conferencing between ourselves and other contractors and suppliers to keep the wheels turning.

At times you can hear the internet creaking under the pressure of this new deluge of data streaming from every connected internet capable device not just in my house but across the entire country and the globe.

In the UK service providers have reported double digit increases in broadband usage some reporting a 60% rise to normal weekdays and mobile providers reporting a 50% traffic increase as we all try to stay connected.

Chintan Patel, Cisco’s CTO said “This is an increase we would normally expect to see in a year, We’re now obviously seeing that in a matter of days and weeks.”

He continued, “designed to cope with the peak” of web traffic. “It’s just that the peak is at a longer time and longer duration now.”

“The internet is not just one thing, it’s like a living breathing human with lots of different neurons and connection points working to keep it alive, even if you cut off one finger, the rest of the body will keep it alive.”

In a deal announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, broadband and mobile suppliers have responded to this new need by removing all allowance caps on fixed broadband services to help keep the most venerable connected.  The agreement struck between the Government ,T/EE, Openreach, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and KCOM will come into effect immediately.

They have said they will ensure all those who are struggling to pay bills will not be cut off and will offer new generous packages to the most vulnerable including free calls and data boosts to insure connection to friends and family. 

The digital secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “It’s fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be struggling with bills at this difficult time. It is essential that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This package helps people to stay connected whilst they stay home.”

Watchdog Ofcom’s chief executive, Melanie Dawes, said: “We recognise providers are dealing with unprecedented challenges at the moment. So we welcome them stepping up to protect vulnerable customers, at a time when keeping in touch with our friends and families has never been more important.”

COVID-19 AND THE ENERGY SECTOR

COVID-19 AND THE ENERGY SECTOR

Across the world the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic are being felt, with over 100,000 deaths, huge disruption to industry and normal life as we know it. The centre of the outbreak has moved from China to Europe which is now recognised as the epicentre of the crisis. Italy has been seen the highest number of deaths reaching over 4000. Governments across Europe have issued social distancing measures ranging from total lockdown of communities to closing schools and recommending home working and avoiding social gatherings. These events and measures are unprecedented in modern times.

The UK government’s stay at home advice for households with possible coronavirus infection and working from home and social distancing measures it is predicted will see a new Electricity demand pattern to appear.  In fact, according to analysis by National Grid ESO, demand across the country would reduce in the event of long-term mass self-isolation due to likely reductions in industrial and commercial demand.

The Energy Networks association (ENA) who represent the UK electrical and gas transmission network operators have issued a statement to customers in the form of an open letter saying they have ‘well-practiced contingency plans in place so we can keep your energy flowing’ and have put in place robost contingency plans industry wide to ‘ensure arrangements for people and equipment required to keep the gas and electricity flowing’

David Smith, chief executive of the ENA, said “The UK’s electricity and gas network is one of the most reliable in the world and network operators are working with the authorities to ensure that their contingency plans are reviewed and delivered in accordance with the latest expert advice.”

On average the UK electricity consumption is roughly domestic 30%, industrial 26% and 21% commercial, this totalled 352.1TWhs last year. However, experts now believe these figures will change as we change our working habits with an increase in domestic use which includes residential use i.e. home workers and a drop in industrial and commercial however overall demand is predicted to fall.

The IEA international Energy Agency are concerned that the response to COVID-19 could see green energy transition efforts derailed, saying the ‘inescapable challenge’ of climate change must not be compromised by the impacts of the pandemic.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a social media post, “The coronavirus crisis is already doing significant damage around the world. Rather than compounding the tragedy by allowing it to hinder clean energy transitions, we need to seize the opportunity to help accelerate them,”

He continued, ‘Large-scale investment to boost the development, deployment and integration of clean energy technologies – such as solar, wind, hydrogen, batteries and carbon capture (CCUS) – should be a central part of governments’ plans because it will bring the twin benefits of stimulating economies and accelerating clean energy transitions. The progress this will achieve in transforming countries’ energy infrastructure won’t be temporary – it can make a lasting difference to our future”

Net-Zero Hopes rest on Flexible Energy System

Net-Zero Hopes rest on Flexible Energy System

Last week the National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) released its annual assessment calling for a clear plan for delivering the “world class infrastructure that the UK needs” This annual report gives an assessment on key infrastructure priorities for the forthcoming year covering  all sectors of economic infrastructure everything from flood risk to digital communications to energy and transport.

The Energy Sector assessment highlighted Nation Grid ESO announcement last year that it would able to operate zero-carbon grid by 2025 and sees this a positive step but if it is to become a reality “this target must be backed by concrete action in line with the Commission’s recommendations.”

Its 4 main recommendations for the energy sector in 2020 are:

  • maintain access to future interconnector projects in negotiations with the EU, and prioritize retaining access to EU power markets and market coupling to ensure that interconnector capacity can be used in an effective way
  • amend the Electricity Act 1989 to define storage as a distinct subset of generation l continue to review the latest evidence on costs of and barriers to access for demand side response technologies in the capacity market
  • proactively facilitate the transition to more actively managed local networks and Distribution System Operators
  •  set out a clear level of ambition for overall system flexibility including a transparent framework to monitor it.”

All of these recommendations are to help the facilitation of the move away from traditional thermal generators and to accommodate further renewables on the system by adding the flexibility needed when you increase intermittent generators.

This increasing need was illustrated in a recent report from Cornwall insight showing the £30.9m that was paid to to windfarms to switch off after the western HVDC link failed in January. The Western HVDC Link is a high-voltage direct current undersea electrical link between Hunterston in Western Scotland and Flintshire Bridge in North Wales.

Lee Drumnone at Cornwall insight said, “The Western Link was designed to accommodate the increasingly high volume of power generated in Scotland and prevent transmission bottlenecks,”

But since commissioning the cable has been fraught with issues.” He added the “availability of the link makes a clear difference”.

“Avoiding constraints not only allows more volumes of renewable power to flow onto the Grid but reduces the amount of money that National Grid has to pay to turn off wind farms in Scotland,” he said. “However, the reliability of the Western Link will need to be solved for its full potential to be realized. As more onshore wind develops, especially in Scotland, the problems of constraints will need to continue to be actively managed.”

Moreover, a new report from the Trade body Energy UK, along with The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and BEAMA have claimed that flexibility from storage and side response could save £8 billion per year by 2030 and upto 40 Billion by 2050.

Charles Wood, Energy UK’s head of new energy services and heat, said that a flexible energy system is “essential’ to “get anywhere near net zero.”

“The products, technology and finance are all there but the opportunities and incentives aren’t – meaning business cases for investment aren’t stacking up. Overall demand for power has been falling for some time but the electrification of heating and transport will greatly increase demand at peak times and flexibility will be absolutely essential to cope with this.

“We need to be ready for when that happens which means taking action now – otherwise we risk missing out on the benefits. We’re ready to work with the Government to deliver on all this potential but we need them to give it the priority it warrants.”

Renewable Energy: What’s the Cost?

Renewable Energy: What’s the Cost?

Last year, wind farms in the UK received £136m in payments to turn off production from their turbines. This was an increase of £8m over the previous year’s payments.  Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy you cannot produce on demand; these shutdowns occur when the electricity network has no requirement for the power being produced. The compensation payments are paid by National Grid ESO when a wind farm is asked to switch off. The price paid for the shutdown has to match the loss in revenue, which often includes a subsidy payment as well as the sale value of the electricity. These payments are recouped from consumers through energy bills.

These figures are released annually to much furor and latched onto by the anti-renewable/turbines organizations as another reason why we should ditch ‘overly costly, ineffective’ renewable energy. However, these figures only tell part of the story.

The energy mix in the UK has changed dramatically over the last decade and we are now at the lowest level of fossil fuel use ever. In fact, we have gone from 7% of our electricity being generated by renewables in 2010 to 37% in 2019. We have reduced our reliance on coal from 75% of electricity to 2.2%, since 1990 levels. This has seen a massive CO2 drop over the decade, with most of the CO2 savings having been made by these changes to our electricity generation.  

This boost in renewable energy has in large part been due to the subsidies put in place by the Government over this time, with ROCs and FiTs driving investment in the renewable sector and creating the renewables industry we have today. These subsidies have now come to an end, with new renewables projects proceeding subsidy free or with backing from the much less costly CfD payments.

There is often a view that nuclear power is a more cost-effective solution to these problems. However, the level of backing these new plants require is double the per MW  value of the current ROC payments, with this still not being enough to encourage new developments. Indeed, Hitachi and Toshiba have pulled out of 3 proposed plants during the past year. At present, there are eight nuclear sites generating nuclear power in the UK. However, only one of these is planned to be operating by 2030.

The Government has backed 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 and it’s likely this will not be enough to fill the gap that nuclear power and reaching NetZero by 2050 will require.  Further solar and onshore wind will also be being needed. This amount of dependence on renewable energy will require a huge increase in energy storage, with National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios predicting a capacity need of between 21GW and 38GW by 2050. Current storage capacity is 4GW.

As we move along this path it’s likely year on year constraint payments will increase until we have the right mix of energy storage available to store this potential power. However, the recent weather events in Australia and across the UK and Europe have shown the real-time consequences of climate change. Given the lack of alternatives available to us and the dire consequences of inaction now predicted across the scientific community, constraint payments seem like a small price to pay.

Is the UK ready for the Energy Transition?

Is the UK ready for the Energy Transition?

A recently released report from Global Market Insights has projected that the PSH market will hit $400 Billion by 2026. Recent CO2 commitments from major governments across the world plus the electrification of heat and transport will create further growth in sustainable technologies such as wind and Solar. This by its very nature will increase the need for energy storage.

National grid in the latest future energy scenarios document have estimated we will need as much as 37GW of energy storage in the UK by 2050, a 9-fold increase to our current amount of 4.3GW.

This poses a problem for the UK highlighted in a Renewable Energy Association(REA) report released last week. This showed the UK second from bottom in preparedness for the switch to a flexible grid that can manage an increased number of intermittent generators, when compared against France, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. Only France was less prepared.

They said “Decarbonising power means delivering flexibility; in a world of very low-cost variable renewable electricity, grids need to be organized differently and some services which were once taken for granted need to be actively procured,” the REA’s chief executive Nina Skorupska said.

“Crucially, as renewable power prices fall around the world every country will be experiencing the same shift. If Britain becomes a flexibility pioneer, then a whole world of markets for exporting our products and services opens up. Whilst this index shows we’re lagging behind, there’s still time to bounce back.”

A lack of visibility on returns and technical challenges to connecting to the network have been highlighted as the major factors to this performance, underpinned by regulatory uncertainty. Lack of short-medium term frameworks around EV networks, Energy storage, and compensation structures are particular policy concerns.

This is further highlighted in their “REA General Election Manifesto 2019” where they propose extending the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) funding model, currently being considered for Nuclear by the Government, to include large scale flexibility technologies such as Pumped Storage Hydro.

The RAB model helps companies raise private financial by providing a secure payback and return on investment for developers. This has been used to good effect in the past in the water industry (Thames Tideway Tunnel) to get high capital, critical infrastructure projects off the ground.

As a Pumped Storage Hydro developer, we are acutely aware of these challenges: regulatory uncertainty coupled with high capital costs. If we want to make good on our climate change commitments, a reduction in these perceived risks would be welcome.

The reinstatement of the Capacity Market is of course welcome, along with the commitment to new build contracts of 15 years for projects that meet a CAPEX threshold – this should help get new PSH moving. 

Regulatory changes like these and others proposed will be crucial in preparing the UK for the Energy Transition, making sure we are ready and able for the drive to Net Zero.

Keeping the Lights on: The Renewable Energy Dilemma

Keeping the Lights on: The Renewable Energy Dilemma

As the UK continues on its inexorable path to a carbon free energy world, the questions around how this is achieved and the paths that should be taken become ever more pertinent. With the continued closure of large, dirty coal plant, coupled with the drive towards the electrification of transport and heat, the UK’s peak electricity demand will be rising at exactly the same time as base load is coming offline.

So, how do we overcome what could potentially be a very big problem and keep the lights on?

As we’ve seen in August this year Blackouts can still happen in the 21st century and unless we can increase flexibility and have a good mix of technology within our energy market these could become more frequent.

Last month provided an important milestone for renewables, after it was confirmed that renewable energy produced more electricity than fossil fuels across a quarter for the first time. Whilst this is great news, the ever greater rise of intermittent renewables within the energy mix does present its own challenges.

Energy storage will play an important role here, as can other technologies such as interconnectors.

The case for interconnectors is an interesting one: whilst there are compelling benefits through the linking of our networks (there are three major proposals in the pipeline to France, Germany & Norway), and the additional security and flexibility this can bring, along with some potential price benefits (wholesale electricity prices are cheaper in Europe), there could be unintended consequences. If we are going to be bringing in cheaper electricity from Europe, for instance from Norway’s numerous hydro plant, it could affect investment into projects within our own borders. With these interconnector projects benefitting from a cap and floor regime, we could somewhat perversely find ourselves subsidising renewables projects in Europe to the detriment of our own.
Which brings us to energy storage. The discourse on this in recent times has been very much dominated by batteries. Whilst these will play a very important role in the future energy mix, one tried and tested large scale storage solution has been somewhat drowned out (pardon the pun!): pumped storage hydro (PSH).

2018 marked the 75th anniversary of the Hydro Electric Development Act, which kick-started major hydro developments across the country, and today we have four operational PSH plant across the UK.
The benefits this tried and tested technology can bring can be easy to forget within the maelstrom that is the energy revolution and its cutting edge technology.
The concept of PSH remains alluringly simple: take two bodies of water with a sufficient height difference, and pump up and release the water between them. Very large amounts of energy can be stored within them and they can provide a great deal of flexibility to our future energy markets.

Importantly, this flexibility could result in lower costs for consumers. In a report commissioned by SSE, Baringa found that Coire Glas, a consented PSH plant in the Scottish Highlands, would deliver about £70 million per annum benefit in social welfare and a reduction in consumers’ bills of about £215 million per annum.

As is the case with major infrastructure projects, a large investment is required at the front-end but, once developed, PSH plant have a very long operational life.

With a few adjustments, such as longer lead-in times for development we believe the existing mechanisms in the Capacity Market could give the PSH market the kick-start it needs in this country and help to secure the investment required to get new projects moving.  

If we provide the support now for PSH we believe we will look back in many years with the satisfaction of knowing that the path well-trodden was indeed the right one to take.

First for Renewables Overshadowed by Net-zero Progress

First for Renewables Overshadowed by Net-zero Progress

The UK’s combined renewables generation from solar, wind, hydro and biomass generated more electricity than fossil fuel power stations for the first time ever during the 3rd quarter of this year.

This was the first time since electricity generation started in 1882 that renewables out generated fossil fuels and is another milestone on the way to decarbonising the system.  Earlier this year we had the longest coal-free period of 10 days with out having to rely on coal power stations.

Over the last ten years there has been a monumental sea change in how the UK has generated its electricity. In 2010, 288TWh was generated by fossil fuels with renewables generation on 26TWh, roughly a tenth.  last year in 2018 generation from fossil fuels was 149.4TWh with renewables on 110TWh, a five times increase from 2010 and 42% of the overall generation for the year.

Although these figures are promising, the latest annual progress report from the Committee on Climate Change released in July shows other sectors have not made as large strides, with the UK off track from legally binding carbon budgets.

Chris Stark CEO for the CCC said “We are not on track…having a net-zero target will not magically fix this problem. The government must show it is serious about its legal obligations…[its] credibility really is at stake here…There is a window over the next 12-18 months to do something about this. If we don’t see that, I fear the government will be embarrassed at COP26.

My biggest disappointment of the past year is that enthusiasm to do something on climate change has only manifested in a new target…Policy just hasn’t kept pace with new desire for climate action…My hope is that that catches up…and the coming year becomes a place where we talk optimistically about the opportunities from climate policy.”

The CCC uses 24 on the ground indicators ranging from electrical vehicle registrations, lofts insulated to hectares of trees planted. Only seven of the 24 are currently on track.

For example, energy efficiency improvements are happening 5 times slower than would be required to hit the target and transport indictors where breached for new car and van CO2 emotions, electrical vehicles and biofuel uptake.

If we are to meet the Government’s newly set target for net-zero by 2050, the CCC report says the UK will have to cut its emissions 50% faster over the next three decades.

In response to this, the Government have announced this week a new climate action roadmap that will be unveiled next year. They have said this will accelerate the climate action plan for decarbonising the transport sector.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said: “We want to work with industry and communities around the country to develop this plan – to make our towns and cities better places to live, help to create new jobs, improve air quality and our health, and take urgent action on climate change.”

This plan is also to include the removal of ‘red-tape’ for large-scale energy storage projects (50MW+) reducing costs for developers.

#World Environment Day

#World Environment Day

Yesterday was world environment day, established in 1972 by the United Nations Assembly with the purpose of raising awareness of environmental issues across the board, from global warming and marine pollution to over population. The first World Environment day happened in 1974, themed ‘Only on earth’.

World Environment Day is seen as platform for action and is celebrated in a different county each year focusing on a particular issue. China is hosting this year with the theme #beatairpollution.

The UN estimate that as many as 6.5 million deaths each year are caused as a direct result of air pollution.  They have said “World Environment Day will focus on the theme of air pollution — a call for action to combat one of the greatest environmental emerging challenges of our time.

“World Environment Day invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our daily lives to reduce air pollution, which in turn can both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit people’s health.

“The good news is that air pollution is largely avoidable, and its negative consequences are preventable. Solutions are known and can be implemented. The world needs to act now.”

This echoes the Committee on Climate Change report that was issued at the start of May 2019 which proposed setting a target of 2050 to achieve net-zero Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, with Scotland reaching this by 2045, five years before the rest of the UK.

Yesterday Gillian Martin Convener of the Scottish Environment Committee called for greater action on emission targets saying “The climate emergency is real and the stark fact is that we have to take urgent action in the short term in order to address global warming.

Our Committee welcomes the Scottish Government’s swift response to the CCC’s report and the commitment that Scotland will play its part in tackling it.

While the targets are challenging we need to focus on the opportunities and benefits of early action and we need to support those most impacted in making the transition.

This is why we have called for a higher level of ambition across all sectors and for clearer plans to be put in place for every sector so we ensure that our generation can address the catastrophic harm being done to our natural environment.”

Last week the Department for Transport (DfT) announced new plans to lessen the environmental impact of air pollution from aviation.  The aviation minister, Baroness Vere, said “Like our road and rail infrastructure on the ground, we need to keep our infrastructure in the sky up to date to keep people moving.

It hasn’t fundamentally changed since the 1950s, and without action, one in three flights could faces delays of half an hour or more by 2030.”

It is a complex and pressing task, but it will make flying cleaner, quieter and quicker, as we make our aviation sector one of the greenest in the world.”

The DfT are proposing an overhaul of how flight lanes allowing for more direct traffic to destinations, rather than the established routes and better co-ordination of air traffic to avoid stacking of aircraft waiting to land.  They claim this work could see planes burning a fifth less fuel, equivalent to 400,000 fewer flights a year, increasing capacity and reducing delays.

Organic movements like Extinction Rebellion and the work of climate activists Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough have promoted a notable change in mood among the general public, pushing all things environmental to the top of the agenda for Governments across the world.

Coal-Free Generation Week

Coal-Free Generation Week

National Grid announced earlier this month that the UK had its first coal free electricity week in a 100yrs. This is in line with the Government plans to phase out coal entirely by 2025 and marks the first week since the UK’s first coal-fired power station opened the Holborn Viaduct Power Station in 1882.

This builds on the milestones in 2017 where we had our first coal free days since Victorian times and in May 2016 where Solar out preformed coal for the first time.

Fintan Slye, director of National Grid ESO said “We have been working with industry over the last few years to ensure the services we require to operate the network are not dependent on coal,”

“We have been forecasting the closure of coal plant and reduced running for some time – due to us having to manage more renewables on the system.  Transmission owners have invested in their networks accordingly and we have refined our operational strategies and real-time operation of the network to ensure continued secure and economic operation.

“As more and more renewables come onto our energy system, coal-free runs like this are going to be a regular occurrence.  We believe that by 2025 we will be able to fully operate Great Britain’s electricity system with zero carbon.”

The majority of electricity is still generated from fossil fuel, Natural Gas making up 46% of the total with Nuclear at 21.2% and combined renewables making up the 32.8% remainder.

At present there are eight nuclear sites currently generating power in the UK however only one of these is planned to be operating by 2030. There are six sites that have licenses to build new nuclear power stations however, only one of these is under construction with three cancelled and two struggling to get the green light to proceed.

Hopes of gas with carbon capture and storage(CCS) have also fallen by the wayside with no commercial scale applications available or in the pipeline leaving a gap in future generation. The Government’s own recent announcement of 30GW of offshore wind will likely have to increase to take fill the gap from from Nuclear and Gas CCS.

This leaves us with the renewable industry old bug bare of intermittence, as more power is produced from renewable sources the less control we have over when it is generated. This sets the stage for a massive increase in the energy storage needled. Indeed National Grid’s own recent energy scenarios have estimated between 11GW and 28GW of storage needed by 2050. There is currently 2.8GW of Storage available in UK.

To facilitate this increase in Storage there has been a push for new battery technologies that have been deployed across the UK, however to hit the level of storage required, the only proven technology currently available at scale is pumped storage hydro(PSH).

ILI currently have 3 Pump Storage Hydro sites in Scotland the most advanced being a 450MW scheme Red John in Inverness currently in planning. The capacity of these projects would be over 2GW almost doubling the current storage capacity in the UK.

Climate Emergency

Climate Emergency

Last night UK MP’s approved a motion to declare an ‘environment and climate emergency’, this was on the back of the Welsh assembly and the SNP also declaring a ‘climate emergency’ earlier in the week with the SNP also pledging today that Scotland will have a target of net-zero emissions by 2045.

A report commissioned by Greenpeace, the results of which were released today, states that two thirds of Britons believe that there is a current climate emergency and 76% would alter their voting patterns to help protect the planet.

Environmental lobbyists and protests groups have been putting forward a raft of proposals including a reduction of carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 – the existing UK deadline is 2050 – which they claim will help avert future doomsday situations.

Our recent past was focused on coal fuelled power plants capable of generating vast amounts of energy on demand with the negative affect of producing thousands of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gases including CO2.

The UK has been gradually phasing out coal plants with the last of them due to be decommissioned in 2025. This does leave a gap in our generation capabilities hampered more with the recent news that five of the proposed six new nuclear power plants are unlikely to be built and seven of the current eight set to be decommissioned by 2030.

Renewable energy generation offers a solution to the energy gap, but it is not without its limitations. There is currently over 42GW of installed renewable energy capacity in the UK. In Scotland alone the overall renewable energy generation capacity doubled between 2007 and 2015.

A continued rise in energy generation of this type would go far in reducing our carbon emissions but it does offer the flexibility that more traditional generations methods do. This is due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation. You can’t will the wind to blow or the sun to shine during high demand peaks. Nor can you ask either to stop when levels of demand drop well below levels of supply.

National Grid now believe that a zero-carbon electricity network is possible by 2025 and recently released proposals on how this could be achieved, however this would require a massive increase in the energy storage available in the system. They have estimated a minimum of 13GW of storage would be required to operate carbon neutral, there is currently 2.8GW of storage available.

Increasing to this level of energy storage does not come easy and we have been looking to new technologies such as batteries to help, but at the scale required the only proven technology currently available is Pumped Storage Hydro.

Pumped Storage Hydro however can offer a viable solution to this issue storing vast amounts of renewable energy ready to send it to the grid on demand. These projects however take a long time to develop both through the planning process and development stage which is why we must act now to promote this practical and workable solution to problem which belongs to us all.

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