Are Battery Storage and Gas Generation Clean Energy?


In June 2019, Parliament passed legislation which requires the UK Government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% (of their levels in 1990) by 2050. Not only this, but Consumers and the General Public are becoming more aware of the increasing need for sustainability and conscious of the impact they are having on the environment and wider atmosphere.

The grid network is under increasing strain due to a number of factors, including the huge increase in demand for electricity. The closure of large, centralised Coal and Nuclear Power Stations – while great for the environment – has only increased the strain on our electricity grid. Enter: Wind and Solar Power. A huge bonus for the environment, the landowners and our countries green targets (despite them being set long after the introduction of Wind and Solar power to the UK).

Wind and Solar Power, the original, and more traditional forms of Clean Energy have a huge number of positives for consumers, the environment and the UK’s Electricity network. However, the weather in the UK is particularly changeable, meaning that these sources of power can be both intermittent and somewhat unpredictable.

These factors all mean that the electricity grid network is coming under increasing strain. In response, Energy Storage and Gas Peaking Plants are becoming increasingly acknowledged as a viable and sustainable solution to support the growth in clean energy technologies.

Energy Storage (via the use of batteries) is the storing and release of energy when required – therefore offering rapid flexibility during periods of fluctuating energy generation and demand – such as the 3pm cuppa or Christmas morning! Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are often situated alongside more traditional renewable energy systems, such as Solar Farms or Wind Farms, and therefore store the surplus energy created by this means. This is then released back to the National Grid when required to meet excess demand, thus balancing the grid.

Gas Peaking Plants, or Gas Generation Plants work in a similar way, and are also only run with rapid start-ups when electricity demand is high. They, however, use compressed natural gas to generate the power and so do have some effects on the environment. Another option is to use Biogas or Biomethane, which provides a more renewable solution.

Battery Storage Solutions, and Gas Peaking Plants (even if to a lower degree) can help to decarbonise the UK energy supply and are therefore being branded as a key component in the UK reaching the target for emissions reduction under the Climate Change Act.

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