News Articles by Mark Howitt

Fads and Fallacies of the Energy Transition

Throughout the energy transition, technology after technology has been lauded as "the big thing" of the energy transition, "the solution" to the challenges involved – in effect, a magic wand. The energy transition cannot be achieved by an over-emphasis on some...

July News

National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios 2021 National grid has published its Future Energy Scenarios 2021. We intend to do a full analysis at another time, but a first reading suggests that it picks up on last year's report, with 3 Net Zero scenarios. However it...

June News

Funding Strategy Some of you will be aware that Storelectric is considering its funding strategy. We are preparing for a further investment round, to enable us to take a first project to "shovel ready" and to help prepare the groundwork for further developments, some...

Comparing Energy Storage, Like with Like

One of the biggest challenges facing those who wish to invest in, or otherwise work with, energy storage is how to compare the costs and performance of different technologies. Many (e.g. batteries) carefully select their data points to flatter both their capabilities...

May News

Speaking at Middle East Energy 2021 Mark Howitt will be speaking at Middle East Energy 2021's Transmission and Distribution Week, 24-26 May, and Critical & Backup Power the following week (registration here): Balancing Grids in Energy Transition – alternating...

Incentivising Clean Energy

While this article is written from the viewpoint of the United Kingdom, all its content would apply equally to most other countries or trading blocs such as the European Union. Current Situation Currently clean energy is incentivised by an uncoordinated mish-mash of...

Batteries – Expensive and Inadequate Solutions

Batteries – Expensive and Inadequate Solutions Enabling an Affordable, Reliable and Resilient Energy Transition Grid connected batteries are being used for many grid services that would be much better and more cheaply delivered by large-scale long-duration storage,...

April News

A lot has been happening this month! National Grid's Summer Outlook Report National Grid published its Summer Outlook Report 2021. Despite its rosy picture, our analysis of it draws some very different conclusions; for example: Even without considering grid stability...

Global Lessons from the Texas Blackouts

Three Perfect Storms?  Three severe winter storms swept across America in the period February 10-20, 2021. While causing many problems across the country, in Texas they caused widespread blackouts, affecting almost the entire population in rolling brown-outs and total...

March News

Storelectric Re-Branding To clarify the extent to which our technologies support the energy transition, Storelectric has re-branded them with names that mean more: Technology Formerly Comments Green CAES TM TES CAES Zero-carbon adiabatic CAES from day 1, the world's...

February Newsletter

Balancing etc. Costs Exceed £100m in January As we have been predicting over the last 6+ years and particularly in our analysis of the first lockdown, costs to the grid of balancing, stability, grid constraints and similar matters continue to rise, exceeding £100m in...

Calculating the Need for Storage

Current Calculations Currently each country and grid calculates its need for storage in very complicated manner, by creating a model with various scenarios, projecting different generation mixes all based on huge assumptions as to what will be rolled out in future....

Happy New Year – Belatedly!

This is our first newsletter of 2021, so a belated Happy New Year to you all! Much has happened since we last wrote. Developing in North America Storelectric has signed a Teaming Agreement with ONEC (a multi-disciplinary engineering company) and Future Power...

Saving Billions on Grid Upgrades

The UK government and grid are planning £16bn grid upgrades as part of wider developments to accommodate 35GW new renewable generation, largely from offshore wind. This is to accommodate the peaks of intermittent generation in order to reduce curtailment, and will...

Happy Christmas and New Year

We at Storelectric wish you all a lovely Christmas and a really happy and prosperous new year. Enjoy the break - and come back refreshed! We hope and anticipate that the new year will bring lots of positive movement: roll-out of the COVID vaccines globally; go-ahead...

CAES with Hydrogen Patent Granted

We have been notified by the Patent Office that our application for CAES with Hydrogen is granted and will be published on 9th December. This is the first of our two patents to have reached this stage, and we look forward to the other one achieving it next year....

Orkney Storage Evaluation – Storelectric Assessment

Network Operators’ Ownership of Storage DNOs and TSOs CAN own storage. In the 2019 Energy Directive (to which we remain a party at least until the end of the year), any grid operator can request a derogation from their regulator to build and own storage if...

October Newsletter

Arbitrage Pricing Over the last few years, markets have appeared to contradict predictions that the differential between peak and off-peak pricing will grow. However this is not the whole story, and not the story as it relates to Storelectric. First of all, there has...

Analysis of National Grid’s Winter Outlook Report 2020-21

National Grid's Winter Outlook Report this year shows a de-rated capacity margin of 4.8GW or 8.3% of 58GW demand (p7). This looks healthy, though neighbouring countries' grids target 10-15% margin. But there are a number of concerns with it: De-rated margin is a...

Interconnectors and Imports

Interconnectors in Europe The United Kingdom no longer has enough domestically generated electricity for its own peak needs, and relies on imports through interconnectors. As the grid decarbonises, power stations are closing, increasing the country's reliance on...

September Newsletter

Progress Although project development is more curtailed in this Covid environment, and some investors are focused on delivering already-invested businesses, nevertheless we continue to pursue lease options and project financing. While we can't at this stage go into...

Re-Starting Net Zero Grids – Black Start

The Challenge Net Zero grids have very low levels of dispatchable (i.e. on-demand) generation – largely hydro-electric, nuclear, gas-fired power stations with CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage), and biomass power stations. The bulk of their energy derives from...

Issues with Ever-Shortening Contract Durations

Since privatisation, the only major capital investment into infrastructure-scale plant and equipment that was not planned before privatisation has been undertaken under special financial instruments (ROCs, OFTOs, CATOs, CfDs, CM etc.) that guarantee 15+ year...

FES 2020 Analysis Summary

An analysis of Future Energy Scenarios 2020Published by National Grid plc Mark HowittChief Technical Officer and Co-FounderStorelectric Limited Introduction This analysis has been almost entirely re-written as compared with previous years. This FES builds on the vast...

August Newsletter

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...

Vehicle to Grid and Shared Mobility

Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and Shared Mobility are two of the big buzz-phrases rolled out in the transportation sector, as magical solutions to energy storage needs of the grid (V2G) and to all the woes of transport-related climate change. They have both advantages and...

July Newsletter

Legislation Introduced: Storage Subject to Local Planning BEIS ministers have introduced secondary legislation allows, for England at least (Scottish and Welsh rules differ), all storage except Pumped Hydro will be subject to local planning regulations: currently it's...

Storelectric makes the Energy Transition Affordable

Following our article a week ago, Mark Howitt from Storelectric pointed out the omission of their very interesting long duration storage technology. Storelectric has developed what they claim is the world’s most cost-effective largescale long-duration electricity...

Developing Projects on Weak and Saturated Grids

Many large renewable generation projects and interconnectors are stalled because thegrid to which they would connect is weak and/or saturated, requiring hugely costly grid reinforcement before the renewables can be connected, which makes the project impractical....

Doing My Bit

I was recently asked: do renewable power plants impact the environment? Quite obviously the questioner was seeking to justify pursuing the fossil-fuelled status quo by nit-picking faults in the case for clean energy. This led me to reflect on some environmental...

June Newsletter

We hope that you are all keeping safe and well through the pandemic. This month has necessarily seen reduced developments due to the lockdown. However there are some things progressing, not least that a number of funds are showing significant interest in investing in...

The Lockdown: A Partial Test of the 2030s Grid

The lockdown is providing a trial run of the "summer minimum" challenges of operating the grid as it will be in the 2030s and 2040s, with renewable generation as a high proportion of demand. Demand was historically low and renewable generation historically high on...

May Newsletter

Investment and Activity Landscape This month there has been a noticeable slowing of activity due to the Coronavirus lockdown. Some people are more available than before, and others less so. Project work is stalled, for which reason our operational activity is on hold....

Alternatives to CAES

Alternatives to CAES for provision of arbitrage, balancing, ancillary, stability and other services come from power stations, pumped hydro-electric stations, batteries, Demand Side Response (DSR), interconnectors and ignorance. Power Stations Power stations are being...

April Newsletter

We hope you had a really good Easter (or, if appropriate, break) and are keeping safe and healthy Letter of Intent from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) MHPS has been working closely with Storelectric for over a year to validate our three technologies (Green...

The Future Role of Hydrogen

Hydrogen will play a significant role in zero-carbon economies in the future. It can be stored at large scale, especially in salt caverns which can be formed in much of the world; It can be stored at ultra-high pressure – vehicle makers are considering up to 700bar:...

March Newsletter

Piclo Contracts - Winning Bid Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are transitioning to Distribution Services Operators (DSOs) over the next 3 years. This means that they will be buying some of the grid balancing services currently procured by National Grid, and...

Synergies with Renewables and Interconnectors

Storelectric’s CAES plants are usually designed as stand-alone plants with stand-alone profits based on buying electricity from the grid and selling it back to the grid. There are many up-side revenue streams available, such as buying and selling under PPAs (Private...

January/February Newsletter

Partner Development We have signed two further collaboration agreements with Arup and Edinburgh University, to add to those with KBB DEEP and ERM, all with a view to working together on developing new locations in our project pipeline. This gives us excellent coverage...

Adiabatic v Isothermal CAES

Grid-scale electricity storage using an innovative form of Compressed Air Energy Storage When discussing adiabatic CAES, such as that proposed by Storelectric, it is frequently confused with isothermal CAES such as that proposed by Lightsail, SustainX and General...

December Newsletter

Hello Tomorrow's Global Summit We’ve been named one of Hello Tomorrow's Deep Tech Pioneers! Selected among more than 5,000 startups from 128 different countries that applied to the Global Challenge. Come and meet us at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit in Paris on...

A 21st Century Electricity System

Introduction The current regulatory and contractual framework is designed around a 20th century industry (baseload coal and nuclear, dispatchable gas, all other bits are add-ons). The cost of electricity is diverging increasingly from its price: already around half of...

De-Bunking Fictions Citing Germany

There have been a number of reports claiming that the German experience proves that what’s needed on the system is not baseload (described as “poison”) or storage, but lots of flexibility. A rational analysis of these articles finds numerous contradictions and errors....

The Scale of Need for Storage

The Energy Transition The energy transition to a zero-carbon economy is, quite correctly, seeing widespread roll-out of tens of GW of renewable generation. we're already at over 30GW and, because of load factors, to supply our 56GW peak demand will need over 200GW...

Lessons for Europe from the UK Blackouts

Index Contents Introduction 1 Batteries and DSR on 9th August 2 Interconnectors’ Response 3 The Future of Interconnectors 3 Need for Back-up 5 Brexit 6 Providing Resilience – Types 7 Providing Resilience – Quantities 8 Grid Stability Services 9 Disincentivisation of...

The Market is Moving

On the surface, various aspects of the market are giving conflicting signals: batteries have piled into the Frequency Response market, collapsing its price, and are starting to look at STOR (though only longer-duration batteries can bid for it); the Capacity Market...

CAES or Batteries?

CAES or Batteries? Many people have suggested that batteries are a viable way forward for grid-scale electricity storage, and some have cast doubt on whether there is a role for Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES). However CAES, batteries and the other storage...

Conventional Versus Renewable Energy

Conventional Energy There are two main disadvantages with conventional energy: pollution and concentration. Pollution is in many forms throughout the process. The worst and most enduring is emissions-related climate change, well proven and fully discussed. But...

Changing Business Models for Utilities

This article considers the question: as renewables become adopted more, how will that change the utility companies’ business models? The answer is: it depends which utility companies: those involved in generation, transmission / distribution, or retail? And note that...

Workshops

As we have explained in our previous e-shot, we have been holding workshops with several key collaborators, with senior people in each organisation. These are: NPL, the owner of caverns and land in various locations, who are interested in developing projects with us...

Matching the Solution to the Problem – FES 2019

Introduction This analysis builds on the improvements of the 2017 analysis, and is the best FES that National Grid have produced, incorporating many of the points on which we have provided feedback over recent years. They have retained the two scenarios that are...

A De-Carbonised and Cost-Effective Energy System

What would such a system look like? A de-carbonised energy system would be built up of many diverse elements selected to be the most suitable mix for each location. There is no single answer or “magic bullet”, no “winning technology” for powering the world, or even...

Do I Care About Climate Change, and Why?

I was recently asked: do I truly care about climate change or not, and why? Yes, I care – enough to forego 4 years’ earnings (out of 6.5 years working at this job) and still be earning less than I would in another job, as well as working long hours. I do it because,...

Finalist for EnergyXL

Storelectric have been selected as a finalist for EnergyXL. With over over 150 applications, we are over the first hurdle! The awards are InnoEnergy and Energy XL. They are looking for startups/scaleups to take part in their tailored programs supported by industry...

Why De-Carbonise by 2040?

100% renewable energy is a target for the energy systems by 2040, though if it can be achieved by 2030 (which I doubt), then so much the better. It’s important for energy to go to zero because it’s possible without additional costs in the overall system, if done...

Brexit Update 12th April 2019

Given the current postponement of Brexit until (appropriately???) Halloween (31st October), the following is Storelectric’s current understanding of the impacts of Brexit on our PCI projects and a bit more widely. Please note that this is not an assessment of its...

NAM70 Challenge – Final Event

NAM can play a crucial role in getting things started by making pilots possible for these beautiful technologies. Hear what Nynke Dalstra CFO at Royal HaskoningDHV and others have to say about NAM70

Shortlisted Again, PCI results and Geotechnical Checks in Teesside

Let me start by saying there is a lot happening and for that reason apologies for the delay in sending this out. We have been very busy discussing additional project opportunities and a few are outlined below. Geotechnical Checks on the Caverns in Teesside We have...

Matching the Solution to the Problem

Introduction This analysis is re-written in fundamental ways as compared with the 2017 analysis, because the Future Energy Scenarios have changed markedly, and largely for the better. Two of the scenarios are legally compliant to the Climate Change Act 2008, offering...

Renewable Energy Storage

There are, by my analysis, 5 scales of storage. Rising in factors of 10 in both scale and duration, they are domestic, local, area, regional and national. Just as the road network (and many other things) needs all scales to operate, so does the energy storage...

Managing a Renewable Energy Transition

Everyone should seek to transform their electricity system to a renewable one, in every region of the world, but not unthinkingly - otherwise the consequent blackouts and price increases would blacken the name of renewable energy. There are a number of steps,...

European Project of Common Interest

Every two years the EU updates its Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP), on which it consults. This consultation period is open now. It would greatly benefit us if you could provide them with some feedback supportive of our two projects, which are: 1022 CARES...

Collaboration with NAM

Following our victory in the NAM Challenge earlier this year, NAM have entered into a non-disclosure agreement with us to take our work together to the next level. They have authorised the following statement: "NAM is interested in the transition from fossil to...

Global Finalist in the Energy track!

We’re proud to announce that we have been selected as @hellotmrc Global Finalists for the world-renowned #HTChallenge! From 4,500 applications, we are one of the 6 Finalists in the Energy track pitching at the #HTSummit in Paris on March 14-15th.  More on the event...

Renewable Energy Association

I am very happy to announce that Storelectric have joined the Renewable Energy association. The REA was established in 2001 as a not-for-profit trade association representing British renewable energy producers and promoting the use of renewable energy in the UK. As...

Q&A – Why Invest in Storelectric

Following the announcement of our recent funding round, we sat down with one of our lead investors Nick Dimmock of green-tech investment firm 350PPM to find out why he chose to invest in Storelectric, and why he thinks others should join us in our current round of...

Don't Miss Our Investor's Reception

It's been a very exciting year for Storelectric and we are currently in our next funding round which has gone live this week. This is being hosted by 350PPM our investment portfolio & fund manager (also a shareholder in Storelectric with whom we have had a very...

Dentons Global Energy Summit, Amsterdam Oct 2018

This years theme is described below and focused on newer technologies and developments in the energy market. As described in the introduction to the summit - Technical, political and economic changes are reshaping the energy industry faster and more deeply than ever...

The PCI Bid, the Global Energy Summit and more …

As we close in to the end of this calendar year we intend to provide a 1 page summary of the activities, milestones and the successes achieved in 2018 with a short synopsis of what to expect in 2019. We completed our PCI/CEF application for the 40MW and 500MW studies...

PCI Bid and CAES Symposium

This is our latest update and the 2nd following our activities in August, which friends of Storelectric describe as the Vacation month. NAM (the oil and gas giant that SEL won a competition with in July) have restarted after their well earned vacation and are in the...

Symposium Overview

To move beyond a think tank role we are anxious to develop a generic model for hybrid energy storage systems based on the location identified in the symposium and resolve the specific series of energy storage challenges and opportunities for that region. It would also...

Storelectric Ltd at the World energy Forum 2018

The World Energy Forum 2018 took place in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (which is one of the autonomous regions of China) between August 10th-12th. Storelectric Ltd were personally invited by the President of the WEF Dr Harold Oh. To see the letter please click here. Tallat M...

World Energy Forum

We are really happy to announce that our MD Tallat Azad has been invited to speak at the World Energy Forum. World Energy Forum is the world’s premier platform for energy leadership, providing a transnational platform for world leaders and experts to facilitate...

NAM70 Challenge

Hereby a message to confirm that you are one of the three nominees making it to the next round of the NAM70 Challenge! We were thrilled and excited by not only the number, but also the level of professionalism of all the companies that submitted their solution. In...

Talk Community – with Mark Howitt

Since competing in the Initiate! Startup Award last year at EUW, what are the key transformations you/ your company have undergone/ are undergoing? We've been further developing our design and our partnerships with six of the leading multinationals in their fields....

Industry Expert Talks and Consultations

Storelectric is well recognised within the industry for its expertise not only in energy storage, but also in the energy system as a whole and in its understanding of how to enable renewables to power an emissions-free grid without the system costing more. And this...

More Awards for Storelectric!

CV Magazine's Technology Innovator Awards have recognised Storelectric in no fewer than six awards in the four years 2015-2018: Innovation (twice), Ones to Watch in Energy Storage Solutions (twice), Most Innovative Start-up and CAES Business of the Year. Storelectric...

White Papers

Storelectric has written a number of white papers on the electricity industry. If you are interested in any of them, please contact Mark Howitt. The Truth about Curtailment A look at the issues and costs of curtailment, identifying that the total costs of balancing...

Naseba

Naseba : the event we attended was called the Mena Private Equity and Venture Capital Summit we were invited to meet with sovereign wealth funds, traditional PE and VC firms, and more recently, regional conglomerates and family-owned businesses who form the bedrock of...