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Batteries and grid technologies are key to future energy systems 

Batteries and grid technologies are key to future energy systems 

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty



A UK report is highlighting the vital role of batteries and grid technologies for low carbon economies and how the country is lagging behind in technology development.

The passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US and the proposed EU Net Zero Industry Act leave the UK lagging behind its major competitors in creating a green industrial economy, says energy economist Nick Butler. He is a former group vice president for policy and strategy development at BP and subsequently senior policy adviser in No 10 Downing Street.

The report highlights that not one of the world’s 20 largest wind turbine manufacturers is based in the UK, and that the main elements of the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor are designed and built in France. Meanwhile, energy grid technology is dominated by Chinese companies and by the recently joint venture between Hitachi and ABB.

The report is here: The potential for a publicly owned energy business in Britain

Other than Rolls Royce’s small modular reactors, there is no clear existing or potential British leader in any significant strand of the low-carbon economy, the report says.

The report recommends developing the grid infrastructure required to make low-carbon energy available to potential consumers, from homes to industry. This will require boosting energy grid storage capacity, to soften the peaks and troughs of demand, and make use of excess supplies of renewable power currently wasted s well as a major programme of electrification, potentially through the railway network.

Hydrogen is seen as the next stage in the green transition in parts of the economy where the use of electricity is not viable, alongside developing the energy grid across the North Sea, in a market stretching from Norway and the Baltic to Scotland, the East of England and Northern Europe.

This should include developing the skills needed to ensure the energy transition is a source of new high-quality jobs and research and development.

www.kcl.ac.uk

 

 

 

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