Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of electricity storage in low carbon energy systems : techno-economic drivers and transistional barriers
Author: Gruenewald, Philipp
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 748X
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
UK Government policy sets out ambitious aims to decarbonise the energy system. This requires fundamental changes to the existing energy infrastructure and electricity from low carbon sources is expected to play a major role in this transition. Electricity storage is widely believed to be able to support the integration of low carbon technologies. So far, the installation of wind power in the UK has not led to any significant deployment of additional storage capacity. Investors still regard electricity storage as too expensive. As more low carbon technologies are deployed, the need for storage may increase. How do these developments affect the role for electricity storage in future UK energy systems? This thesis addresses this question by combining technical, economic and social approaches. A techno-economic model has been developed to examine the commercial opportunities for electricity storage in future scenarios. A socio-technical perspective of technological transition complements this approach. Stakeholders have informed the analysis on the uptake of storage through a workshop and interviews. The results point towards a significant increase in the gross value of electricity storage, even at modest efficiencies, especially within highly renewables based scenarios. However, the concept of storing electricity is poorly aligned with existing institutions and regulatory structures. Despite the potential increase in value, electricity storage may fail to be adopted in the best societal interest. Path dependency may lead to the deployment of established alternative solutions, or favour storage technologies with unnecessarily high performance. This thesis concludes that if electricity storage is to play an effective role as part of a low carbon transition, long term developments would need to be considered as part of a strategic policy framework. These may need to address commercial as well as institutional barriers to deployment.
Supervisor: Contestabile, Marcello ; Cockerill, Tim Sponsor: Natural Environment Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral