ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, welcomes the comments from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and National Grid calling for better energy storage facilities to be connected to renewable power sources.
This follows a report from the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) and recent press coverage noting that energy companies were paid a total of £890,000 to halt wind turbine energy production across six Scottish wind farms for several hours on the 5th and 6th of April 2011.
REF noted: “The April event occurred because the Scottish grid network could not absorb all the energy being generated, and chose to constrain wind power off the system, paying very high prices to compensate wind generators for the lost income, in some cases as high as 20 times the value of the electricity which would otherwise have been generated. In total approximately £890,000 pounds was paid over a few hours to six wind farms, these costs being ultimately destined to pass on to the consumer.”
During the period under investigation, the National Grid became unbalanced due to an excess of wind and hydro energy, resulting in the National Grid paying the generating companies to cease generation. A transmission fault in the grid meant that the energy could not be transferred to England, as would have happened normally.
A spokesman for DECC commented: “In future we need greater electrical energy storage facilities…so that energy supplies can be sold or bought where required.”
Commenting for ITM Power, CEO Graham Cooley said: “This is a timely announcement for us and supports our proposition for hydrogen energy storage to support intermittent power generation. “As more intermittent renewable power is assimilated into the network, these events will increase in frequency. An example is Denmark where 20% of the generating capacity is wind but only a few % of the demand can be met with that wind power, the rest has to be exported to Sweden or Norway or wasted.
“ITM Power’s technology provides an efficient means of converting excess power and storing it as hydrogen, to be used when needed. ITM Power’s HFuel product can be used as a flexible load which can be operated by power companies to absorb excess power. The use of hydrogen electrolysis and storage to manage the grid means that we would never have to cease renewable energy production.
“The market for the hydrogen produced from renewable electricity is potentially huge. It is the market for a zero carbon footprint fuel. The adoption of hydrogen in countries like Germany is now rapid and we urge the UK Government to look again at this important opportunity for the UK.
“We are proud to be pioneering tomorrow’s solutions to today’s energy problems.”