Future Energy Scenarios 2020

National Grid has published its Future Energy Scenarios 2020. This has many improvements over previous ones, including three Net Zero compliant scenarios. As the power sector is one of the easiest to decarbonise, it does so by the 2030s to give harder sectors a chance. The requirement for large-scale long-duration storage is 20-40 GW, a total that has increased with every issue of the FES analysis. We predict that it will continue to increase (by as much as a further 22-46 GW) as we consider some assumptions about CCS, hydrogen, transportation, grid-connected batteries, V2G etc. to need paring back. Please follow the links to our summary or the full 80 page analysis.

Planning for Plants

We have previously reported on the intention of BEIS to introduce legislation to permit local planning applications for large-scale storage. This has now been passed. In summary, it means that all English planning applications storage apart from pumped hydro can be under local planning rules rather than national ones, which is likely to save £1-2m and 1-2 years’ work on each plant over 50MW – smaller plants were already under local planning. Rules differ in each UK country.

Lithium Supply

Both power and transportation sectors assume that the earth’s lithium supplies are “plentiful”. However research shows that there is sufficient recoverable lithium in the world to power only 77% of vehicles by 2080, ignoring any use of lithium for the electricity sector (which uses three time as much energy as transportation, including gas as it will be replaced by both P2G and electrification), portable devices and other uses. Therefore most storage on the grid must be met by non-lithium equipment, of which Storelectric’s is the most cost-effective and (apart from pumped hydro which is expensive and has little growth potential) most efficient.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

The UNECE has been mandated to deliver a project “Defining the Carbon Neutrality Framework in the ECE Region for Power Sector and Energy Intensive Industries”. Following input to their consultation, Mark has been invited to join three Panels of Experts, on Carbon Neutrality, Cleaner Electricity Systems and Renewable Energy. His letter of invitation is here.