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This conference aims to bring together national and international leaders in energy storage systems and is intended for participants from across academia, industry and government.

Overview

This conference aims to bring together national and international leaders from across the energy sector and is intended for participants from across academia, industry and government. 

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Background

A previous event  Energy storage – automotive and grids at the Royal Society explored how high performance energy storage systems will be essential in developing a sustainable future economy and their potential for next generation technologies to change the way we live. Over the last four years however we have seen that while the challenge to meet Net Zero has remained the same, the potential of novel technology and use of hydrogen, ammonia, and synthetic fuels to meet the energy storage challenge has increased with a parallel increase in investment. 

This conference will explore key issues associated with implementing decarbonisation technologies for the national electricity supply and land transport to meet Net Zero in the UK. Topics discussed will include the development of electrification through batteries and other alternatives, and the coordination of an increasingly diverse and dispersed electricity system.

Attending the event

  • Please note that this is a hybrid event, with limited availability to attend in person. Attendees will have the option to book an 'in person' or 'online' ticket when when they register.
  • Registrants attending online will be able to view the event and ask the speakers questions directly.
  • Please book the event to receive updates and further information. 

Organisers

Schedule


Chair

Professor Peter Bruce FRS

Wolfson Chair in Materials, University of Oxford, and Physical Secretary and Vice-President, The Royal Society


Chair

09:20-09:35
The growth potential of renewable energy supply, managing variability and barriers to deployment

Abstract

Renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide. Technology innovation has enabled rapid cost reductions, far surpassing expectations, and wind and solar are now much cheaper sources of generation than fossil fuels. The UK has led the world in decarbonising its power system, and can further accelerate the growth of renewables by addressing key barriers, such as permitting and regulatory processes, improving grid infrastructure, and ensuring a coordinated approach. With record-high international gas prices, a rapid expansion of UK renewable capacity will help to ensure energy security and enable us to reach Net Zero cheaper, and faster. 

Speakers

09:35-09:50
Non-intermittent decarbonised electricity generation: nuclear and geothermal challenges and technology and knowledge gaps

Abstract

In the development of the future energy system, balancing base load generation with peaking capacity is key. Large-scale nuclear energy generation is well-suited to provision of base load, which maximises the benefits of the large capital investment. Similarly, thermal sources such as geothermal provide constant sources of thermal energy. Balancing base load and peaking plant will be increasingly challenging with a greater level of renewable generation on the grid. The role of energy storage will be a key factor in getting the most out of nuclear and geothermal. These issues will be explored.

Speakers

09:50-10:10
The future of decarbonised electricity in the UK: the national perspective

Abstract

National Grid ESO sits at the heart of operating the GB Electricity Transmission System. As renewables have grown over the past decade the ESO has adapted to ensure a safe and reliable network, and is on target to operate carbon-free for periods in 2025. The talk sets out some of those challenges already solved and the next challenges that must be overcome in order to operate a carbon free network in 2035.

Speakers

10:10-10:30
The future of decarbonised electricity in the UK: a perspective from the energy markets

Abstract

The talk will offer a summary of the likely steps needed to decarbonise the GB power system by 2035. These include deployment of different forms of low-carbon generation capacity, together with the wider system and market changes that will likely be needed to enable these developments and to integrate low-carbon generation and low-carbon transport into a secure system.

Speakers

10:30-11:00
Panel Discussion and Q&A

Speakers

11:30-11:50
Advancing battery technology to support the next generation of energy storage

Abstract

Britishvolt aims to establish the first UK battery cell ‘giga-plant’, implementing a sustainable, advanced technology and manufacturing strategy to deliver on the exacting needs of our customers and assist in the acceleration of sustainable transport and the renewable energy sector.  Although road going automotive is the primary market target for Britishvolt, the static energy storage system sector is also of key interest.  This talk will present an overview of battery technology, the challenges of large volume production to support those markets and the research and development pathways being pursued to support a next generation of automotive and energy-storage battery technology as enablers of a pathway to decarbonisation. 

Speakers

11:50-12:10
Chemical storage solutions and challenges

Abstract

Chemical storage, in the form of fossil fuels, dominated electricity system storage over the last century. As the share of renewables increases, batteries are likely to provide short-term storage, but there will also be a need for longer-term storage on timescales of weeks to seasons. Chemical storage can provide this in the form of hydrogen or ammonia, which are zero-carbon, have low capital costs per unit of stored energy, and have negligible storage losses. The talk will examine the characteristics of hydrogen storage technologies and will explore the potential and scale of hydrogen storage to provide carbon-free peak power generation at times of low renewable supply. It will conclude by considering whether the role of hydrogen storage might reduce if opportunities to integrate hydrogen into the wider energy system are realised.

Speakers

12:10-12:30
The benefits and challenges of electrical energy storage by means of mechanical systems

Abstract

The available mechanical methods for storing energy in electrically transmissible form are described along with their place in the energy storage landscape. Issues including response time, duration, scale, sustainability, use of resources and lifetime cost are addressed, allowing technologies to be compared to battery based systems where applicable. The question of under which circumstances mechanical systems could provide a better solution is asked. This is answered and illustrated by examples relating to both electricity supply and transport. Finally, some research questions are raised, the answers to which could help inform our understanding of the provision of electrical energy storage.

Note: Given the title of the conference “Decarbonisation of electricity supply and land transport to meet net zero in the UK”, the presentation covers mechanical means of storing electrical energy as opposed to widening to also include heat storage. This will bring more focus to what is already a wide subject. 

Speakers

12:30-13:00
Panel Discussion and Q&A

Speakers

14:00-14:20
Using batteries: status, challenges and new technology requirements

Abstract

As the world transitions from a carbon-dependent to a renewable-energy-based society, decarbonization of power sectors has quickly become a critical step in meeting emission reduction targets. This is becoming increasingly important in order to meet the rising demand for electric power in the transportation industry. This presentation will outline the strategies that OEMs are currently employing in order to meet consumer demand while also offering a typical product with little to no environmental impact.

Speakers

14:20-14:40
The status and potential of ammonia for energy storage and transport: future steps and challenges

Abstract

The energy equivalent of the current annual global production, storage and transportation of ammonia dwarfs by factors of thousands the numbers associated with hydrogen. 

While the future of passenger vehicles, at least in high-income countries, focuses on lithium battery technologies, the maritime industry, with its one hundred thousand horsepower deep-ocean container ships, sees ammonia as its leading future green fuel. 

With batteries favoured for short-range passenger vehicles and ammonia seriously being considered for the most challenging of transport technologies, the opportunities for hybrid high-power battery/ammonia options deserve significant consideration. Similarly, for energy storage, short-term (seconds to hours) requirements can be met by batteries while long-term and interseasonal challenges can be addressed in a dispatchable, flexible and highly distributable manner by ammonia-based solutions. 

This talk focuses on extrapolating solutions from the present status of zero-carbon containing fuels and, in particular, the challenges – both real and perceived – of ammonia-focussed energy storage and transport.

Speakers

14:40-15:00
Using synthetic fuels and hybrid solutions: status, challenges and new technology – Does the scale up required still decarbonise?

Abstract

This talk will examine the potential for synthetic fuels to decarbonise transport, considering advantages and disadvantages of their use across sectors from marine to heavy duty trucks. The presentation will review the latest technology developments and consider scale up required to deliver decarbonisation needed to meet climate targets.

Speakers

15:00-15:30
Variable renewable energy supply and rising demand for the grid and for transport- balancing the euphoria and the naysayers

Abstract

Decarbonisation of society in the next decade will be dominated by electrification of heat and transport, and decarbonisation of electricity grids. There remain very significant challenges to electrification of the demand side, and to decarbonisation of the supply side at the scale and pace required to combat climate change.  With the recent dramatic decline in the costs of wind and solar photovoltaics the decarbonisation of the supply side is and will continue to be dominated by these variable renewables (VREs). To meet the ambitious decarbonisation goals the penetration levels of VREs will need to increase for the majority of grids. The popular press and some academic literature have claimed that 100 % VRE penetration would be relatively easily achievable. A counter-narrative maintains that it would be impossible. Neither narrative is constructive. It is technically possible to achieve 100 % VRE penetration, but it would be far from easy, and with our current technology and societal expectations around electricity it would be very expensive. It would be more accurate to argue that “it is possible to achieve 100% VRE grids, but there are many challenges that still need to be solved”. This statement will form the focus of the presentation. 

Speakers


Chair

Professor Peter Bruce FRS

Wolfson Chair in Materials, University of Oxford, and Physical Secretary and Vice-President, The Royal Society

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