Delivering a dispatchable, flexible zero-carbon system

The growing importance of battery storage to deliver a dispatchable, flexible zero-carbon system was the main theme of Mark Simon’s presentation to Glennmont’s “New Energy Market” seminar held in the House of Commons on December 5th.

Mark was amongst of panel of speakers invited by Glennmont, one of Europe’s largest fund managers focusing exclusively on investment in clean energy infrastructure.  Other speakers included Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the deputy chair of the Committee on Climate Change and Angus McCrone of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The seminar focused on the challenges with the current energy system, the factors that need to be addressed as the country moves towards Net Zero and the opportunities that are starting to be realised in that journey.

Recognising that peak UK power demand will significantly grow, Mark outlined why batteries will have an increasing role in supporting the growth in renewable power generation, reducing costs and keeping the lights on. 

Mark told the audience that the markets (and flexible assets) could together deliver the low-cost, reliable and balanced power the UK requires.  He called on Government and Ofgem to consider the following:

  • establish a Flexibility market / mechanism
  • develop a new market design to unlock flexible, resilient and low-cost energy systems
  • revise the Merit Order and reward dispatchable assets
  • eliminate the implicit subsidies for carbon and intermittent generating assets, and
  • remove obstacles to market in order to accelerate Net Zero.

Mark concluded that there is a need to encourage flexible technologies as they develop, a need to deliver flexible assets at scale in order to balance the volatility from wind and solar and to ensure that that there is true optionality with multiple flexible applications as the electricity market evolves.