24th July 2017 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

Consumers in the United Kingdom could make huge savings thanks to the expected growth in battery storage technology.

Changes to the UK electricity network could save consumers billions of pounds with the help of significant government investment in battery storage technology. The changes will allow people to generate their own power via solar panels and then sell it back to the National Grid.

When implemented, the changes could save consumers between £17bn and £40bn by 2050 according to energy regulators, Ofgem. It is hoped the new framework will come into effect in the next year.

Millions of people generate and store electricity at home due to advancements in battery storage and renewable energy technology, the changes the government propose should make it easier to cash in on these innovations.

Savvy generators could take advantage of the technology by remotely turning on appliances such as washing machines on sunny days, when their solar panels are generating the most energy. Support will also be given to consumers who turn off their fridges and freezers for a few minutes during peak demand times.

Businesses will also benefit by turning down air-conditioning when demand is high, to ease tightness on the grid.

Consumers who already have solar panels and battery storage installed will be the first benefit from the change. These households and businesses are already eligible for a feed-in tariff but it is thought that the current system deters people from using energy in a flexible manner.

The small energy savings made by millions of people in the UK will be grouped into trading packages, and this combined energy will be offered to the National Grid via an online system. As a result, the grid would no long need to predict peak times and build new power stations in order to meet demand, instead energy managers will be able to trade in Negawatts (negative energy).

Business Secretary Greg Clark also announced that the government will establish a ‘Battery Institute’ which will support companies who focus on battery research and development. An investment of £246m has been outlined to fund the institute as part of the UK’s industrial strategy.