Last week, ecoConnect, the UK’s green industry business network, hosted a forum to discuss the issues hampering the progression of electricity storage technology and examine the steps that need to be taken to ensure that the UK positions itself at the forefront of storage innovation.
The event, ‘Electricity Storage: Renewable’s Holy Grail,’ attracted many energy experts from across Europe, with the Aspectus Energy team heading up to Barbican to join them, keen to catch a glimpse of the future of electricity storage.
Addressing a packed amphitheatre, an expert panel opened the forum by painting a picture of the current energy landscape, with each panel member representing the interests of key stakeholders – i.e. the UK Government, investors and storage technology developers, as well as the Electricity Storage Network’s Anthony Price. One key quote that stood out for us was from Anthony, who stated that electricity storage is ‘the glue that holds the smart grid together’.
The event made it clear that electricity storage could unlock the full potential of renewable energy technologies rendering intermittency a thing of the past. However, the technology has struggled to attract investors and the UK Government and utility providers alike remain sceptical about its place in the energy mix. Indeed, following some probing questions from the audience, it soon became clear that although electricity storage technology has huge potential, there is some way to go until it can enter the mainstream.
After the forum, the debate continued over drinks and canapés. ecoConnect offers a fantastic platform to discuss business, but it is also one of the few places in London where you can hear the foremost experts in green technology talk freely with passion and enthusiasm about the future of the UK green economy. Indeed we spoke to several storage technology start ups with fresh, innovative ideas set to transform the future of green technology, for example Highview Power’s cryogenic freezing of oxygen in order to generate electricity, or Skystreme’s plans for a fifty-ton air ship to harness solar energy that can be fed back into the grid.
We came away with the promise of fantastical new energy products ringing in our ears and a fistful of business cards. Next month, the ecoConnect forum debates the challenges facing renewable start ups looking for investment in the UK and we hope to see you there!