Moixa presents the future of UK energy storage to the US Energy Storage Summit 2016
Moixa was invited to brief delegates to the US Energy Storage Summit about how storage in Europe is addressing the dual challenge of grid balancing and a decentralised energy market. CEO Simon Daniel addressed an audience of utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage innovators.
In Europe, peak electricity demand is driven by domestic consumption, with households typically responsible for two-thirds of peak demand in winter. This drives infrastructure costs and peak prices, which are increasing as networks face decreasing capacity margins, wholesale price spikes and higher balancing costs. This creates a premium for demand reduction in homes, but can it actually deliver?
Moixa’s smart batteries have been installed in more than 650 homes nationwide with a combined capacity of over 1.3MWh and over five million hours of use. They are already cutting household electricity bills, helping to reduce consumption during peak times and therefore reducing the need to reinforce the grid.
Demand response in homes is difficult and costly. Incentivising behaviour change with peak time tariffs has so far been ineffective. Consumer demand response cannot be relied on as ‘alternate infrastructure’ as long as it relies on people to change their behaviour in response to the time of day or smart meters and tiered prices.
Efficiency and automation are far more effective. For example, we can flatten the peak profile by simply reducing power for lighting and appliances used at peak.
However, smart batteries can make consumer demand response an effective means of managing demand. They can both push and pull power so they can help create a ‘flat grid’ by storing energy off-peak and discharging it at times of peak demand. Cumulatively, installations reduce the need to export across the grid by aggregating surplus power from communities in virtual power plants.
Managing such clusters of batteries and behind the meter electrical domestic storage therefore has an increasingly important role to play in Europe. Effective deployment can help customers and utilities save money and provides infrastructure that will reduce peak energy use over time.
It is clear that as markets become more connected and more real-time technology is deployed, price and supply volatility will increase, and demand response will play an important role in balancing systems. Energy storage can deliver this effectively and should be recognised as a new asset class that delivers increasing returns.