From the north of England to South Australia, 2017 has proved to the year that large-scale battery storage came of age, smashing cost and scale barriers and breaking into the public consciousness. This is important because storing energy is seen as a crucial complement to the renewable revolution sweeping the world. Elon Musk’s Tesla, known for its luxury electric cars, now increasingly makes headlines for using batteries to tackle local energy problems around the world. In post-hurricane Puerto Rico, the firm installed solar and batteries to help a hospital. Near Jamestown, South Australia, it completed the world’s biggest battery storage plant in response to a blackout that sparked a political row over renewables and energy security. In the UK, big utility companies such as EDF Energy are building giant battery plants in Cumbria and Yorkshire to help National Grid manage an increasing amount of renewable power. Tony Cocker, the former boss of energy firm E.ON in the UK, said: “If you’re a large power plant owner today and not looking at batteries, you’re almost negligent.” He believes batteries now stand more chance of being built in the UK than new gas power stations.
Guardian 26th Dec 2017 read more »