In June 2019, Britain became the first major nation to set official targets to be carbon zero by 2050. The announcement triggered a renewed focus on sustainability programmes within the public sector and brought energy storage solutions further up the estate planning agenda.
This shift couldn’t be timelier with the public sector accounting for some of the UK’s most energy demanding organisations. The NHS spends £570m on energy per year, and with the nation’s aging electrical grid requiring upgrades costing in the region of £30bn, unreliability issues could soon be the new norm.
Battery storage provides a resilient solution to such issues, and is increasingly understood to be an integral part of the UK’s future power networks.
At ETL we have seen a shift in how energy storage technologies are perceived in the sector. It is now widely appreciated how battery storage will help the energy intensive public-sector cut costs, reduce emissions and build a more resilient estate.
When we launched our battery storage procurement framework, we anticipated cost savings to be the main driver for implementing battery storage.
However, our clients are increasingly interested in the potential to provide flexibility in power source, as well as provide a solution for uninterrupted power supply (UPS), which is critical to many public sector environments, particularly healthcare, research and science.
Battery storage offers assurances other solutions can’t whilst also helping avoid costs by charging when energy is cheap and discharging when expensive.
Batteries complement new or existing energy infrastructure, including CHP engines and renewables – particularly solar – whilst also powering electric vehicle charging points which are popping up at public-sector sites across the country.
With a shift in priority from cost savings to securing uninterrupted power supply (UPS), one of the main challenges is ensuring compliance with relevant industry standards such as Health Technical Memorandas (HTMs) for healthcare organisations, which give technical advice and guidance on the design, installation and operation of specialised building and engineering technology.
Public sector clients also need to have the technical support and advice to maximise the potential benefits of battery storage for their requirements. Suppliers on ETL’s battery storage framework specialise in supporting clients to specify, finance and operate battery solutions to realise maximum benefits. They are tackling the challenges of the emerging technology through providing clear, compliant and reliable battery storage solutions to the public sector, which we believe will play a crucial role in the future of the public sector’s energy infrastructure.
Benefits of battery storage solutions:
• Deliver Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for critical environments
• Decrease costs through shifting revenue streams from National Grid and savings through DUoS
• Provide resilience and infrastructure improvements
• Link with new or existing energy infrastructure
• Add value to renewable installations and provide reliable source for electric vehicle (EV) charging points
• Moderate consumption through voltage optimisation
• Reduce carbon emissions by reducing consumption and connecting with renewables to store and then discharge power
Alexandra Hammond is director of sustainability at ETL