In this blog I outline some of the key considerations for landowners and farmers who are looking to place themselves on standby to feed in to emerging new opportunities in energy storage and distribution.
This is a blog which I first published in part last year, but which has gained ever growing momentum in recent months – and especially now following the Government’s high level announcements this week in relation to its future support for energy storage and tackling air pollution.
With traditional means of energy distribution from sources like coal fired power stations increasingly nearing the end of their operational lives – and with newer and often more inflexible renewable energy sources providing only intermittent energy supplies to the national grid – suitable locations for balancing services like peaking power plants which are procured by the national grid appear to have a good chance of continuing to be sought after in the years ahead.
Peaking Power Plants’, aka ‘Peaker Plants’ or ‘Peakers’, relate to an increasingly sought after type of energy power plant which generally only runs when there is a high demand for electricity. This high demand for electricity is known as ‘peak demand’. Crucially for landowners: because Peaking Power Plants supply electricity only occasionally to deal with peak electricity demands, the power they supply often consequently commands a much higher price per kilowatt hour than normal ‘base load power plants’ (which usually supply a dependable level of electricity to meet only minimum levels of demand). The land requirements for Peaking Plants can however be quite specific, and so landowners are advised to consider seeking professional advice in order to scope whether their land is likely to be a potential suitable site for a future Peaking Power Plant.
As well as Peaking Power Plants, the low and falling costs of battery technology is opening up a very diverse range of other opportunities for farmers and landowners in relation to energy storage and distribution projects. These include projects in relation to:
Battery storage may in some cases have the potential to open up lots of different ways for landowners to use the energy it produces and stores including:
Other types of energy storage, other than battery storage, include:
As well as increases in energy storage, some commentators also point to the need for continued advances in other types of renewable energy to create more flexibility in the energy market. These include:
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If you are a landowner and this communication has been of some interest to you, please feel free to email me with your name, address, contact details and details of any future planning assistance you may require.
You may also be interested in requesting future articles relating to ‘Planning for Farm diversification.’