Storage and Balancing

In a decentralised energy system energy supply is mainly produced independently of centralised control. In this system balancing and energy storage take on a new, and in some ways, much more important role compared to the old paradigm of centralised dispatch.

Cassarino and Barratt  set out how the amount of energy storage needed in a given year to maintain a 100% renewable energy system can be reduced by large amounts by either ‘overcapacity’ of renewables or increasing the amount of international electricity. But large amount of storage will still be needed to cope with at least inter-seasonal storage to deal with windless/sunless weeks during the year (which will be more than three weeks’ worth of annual production).

Our own study, produced by the LUT Team, assumed that inter-annual differences in renewable energy production (ie on top of inter-seasonal differences) would be tackled mostly with long-term storage. Hence storage is required that will be equivalent to the bulk of a year’s production (ie much longer than would be required just to deal with inter-seasonal differences in production). But this level of storage can be built up gradually over numerous years. You can see the results of the LUT study HERE.

So what’s cheapest for 100% renewable energy? Renewable capacity overbuild or full inter-annual storage? Answer: our current guess is that they are probably much the same cost! – but both much cheaper than the Government’s path to net zero by 2050!

See the following pages for discussions of how this can work:

Options for Energy Storage

demand side response and storage

Mark Barrett has set out a critique of the Sizewell C project in a statement published here by the Claverton Group.

Come to our (free in-person) seminar on April 22nd when the model and the issues surrounding the objective of 100percent renewables for the UK it will be extensively discussed. We shall also be discussing the UK Government’s Energy Bill and what we need to speed the UK’s energy transition. The event is being held in Conway Hall, London.

Confirmed speakers so far include: introduction by Caroline Lucas MP,  Jonathon Porritt (Forum for the Future), Charmian Larke (Atlantic Energy), Professor Christian Breyer (LUT University), Professor Mark Barrett (UCL), Professor Nick Eyre (University of Oxford), Dr Doug Parr (Greenpeace), Alethea Warrington (Possible), Rianna Gargiulo (Friends of the Earth and Divest UK), Alison Downes (Stop Sizewell C), Pete Wilkinson (Together Against Sizewell C),  Ian Fairlie and David Toke (both 100percentrenewableuk), Kate Hudson (CND) and Dave Andrews (Claverton Group)

You can either attend the event in-person (that’s better as you can talk to people, be social and make contacts),


or if  or if you cannot attend in person  it is £30 admittance to the virtual (online) version of the event (that’s because there are substantial extra costs involved here) SIGN UP HERE


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