News Articles by Mark Howitt

Our News and also Industry Updates

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...

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% (p7). This looks healthy, though neighbouring countries' grids target 10-15% margin. However there are a number of concerns with it: De-rated margin is a statistical...

Fads and Fallacies of the Energy Transition

Warning: this blog article is rather more strident than most. The energy transition isn't carefully thought through – it’s driven by fads, the current ones being batteries, distributed, virtual and demand-side. They all fall down on a number of factors, including: All...

Interconnectors and Imports

Interconnectors in Europe We have studied the energy transition plans of 6 countries in detail (UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, NL - who account for 75% of pre-Brexit EU GDP - please forgive the number of abbreviations!) and are aware in general terms of the plans of most of our...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

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...