Enough wind power was curtailed in 2020 to power a million homes for a year.
A new report produced by Lane Clark Peacock LLP (LCP) says primarily as a result of network constraints, last year saw a total of 3.6TWh of wind power shut off and wasted.
It claims if an extra 20GWh of battery storage was installed across the country, the amount of wind power wasted annually could be reduced by up to 50% – it says storage capacity must be ‘rapidly-scaled’ in order to avoid wasting large volumes of renewable energy in the future, which increases costs and reduces the proportion of the energy mix that can be generated without relying on fossil fuels.
The research forecasts that wind curtailments in Scotland and England will cost consumers as much as £1 billion per year by 2025 and notes this is likely to grow, considering the government’s commitment to quadruple the amount of offshore wind capacity to 40GW by 2030.
New battery capacity would allow intermittent energy to be stored for later use when it is needed, as well as offering flexibility benefits to balance constantly changing levels of supply and demand throughout the day.
Chris Matson, Partner at LCP says: “Energy storage will play a crucial role in helping to decarbonise the power system, by balancing the grid in real-time and backing up renewable generation.
“The increase in renewable energy capacity, without increases in network capacity or flexible technologies, will result in increasing volumes of renewable energy being wasted, with costs ultimately falling on consumers. This issue needs to be tackled urgently if the UK is to meet its net zero targets.”