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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P023320/1
Title: Generation Integrated Energy Storage - A Paradigm Shift
Principal Investigator: Garvey, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Ciemat EDF Energy Energy Technologies Institute (ETI)
Highview Power Storage Hydrostor, Inc. Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
Massachusetts Institute of Technology National Grid National University of Ireland Galway
Polytechnic University of Milan Rolls-Royce Plc University of California Los Angeles
University of Malta University of Melbourne University of Virginia
University of Windsor
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2017 Ends: 31 December 2021 Value (£): 332,646
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Technical Consultancy Energy
Related Grants:
EP/P022049/1 EP/P023436/1 EP/P021867/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Feb 2017 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 9 and 10 February 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project will assess a class of systems that blend electricity generation and storage, to understand the role that they could play in future energy systems. Their ability to deliver low-carbon energy on demand, at low system cost, will be investigated from technical, economic, and policy standpoints.

With a growing fraction of electricity consumption being supplied by variable renewable energy sources, the ability to match energy generation and energy consumption is rapidly taking centre stage. Flexible ('dispatchable') coal and gas plants are being displaced to lower carbon emissions. At present, both nuclear and renewable energy technologies are generally configured to generate as much electricity as possible, regardless of the electricity demand at the time. Standalone energy storage, in which surplus electricity is converted to an intermediate energy form and then back again, is emerging as a vital partner to these generation technologies but it is prohibitively expensive for the duties that will be required in the near future. Active management of electricity demand (by shutting down or deferring loads) and electrical interconnections with neighbouring countries will also play important roles but these also have costs and they will not obviate the need for storage.

This project will build a deep understanding of a class of system which takes a different and potentially much lower cost approach. These Generation Integrated Energy Storage (GIES) systems, store energy in a convenient form before converting it to electricity on demand. The hypothesis is that the lowest cost and highest performance storage can be achieved by integrating generation and storage within one system. This avoids the expense and inefficiency of transforming primary energy (e.g. wind, solar, nuclear) into electricity, then into an intermediate form, and later back to electricity. For example, the heat produced by a concentrating solar power plant can be stored at far lower cost and with lower losses than producing electricity directly and operating a standalone electricity store.

A broad range of opportunities exist for low-carbon GIES systems, in both renewable and nuclear applications. The research team's expertise in wind, nuclear, and liquefied air storage will be applied directly to GIES systems in all three. The project will also establish a framework for the wider significance of GIES to energy systems. Technical and thermodynamic metrics that characterise high performing GIES systems will be developed, and used to compare with standalone generation and storage equivalents. The theoretical groundwork laid by this research will have applications far beyond the current project. Opportunities for current and future technologies will be mapped out and publicised, supporting and accelerating further work in the field. The deployment and operation of such technologies will be modelled by means of a pragmatic real options economic analysis. The unique policy and economic considerations of fusing generation and storage will be reviewed in detail, considering challenges and proposing solutions to regulatory and financial hurdles. Taken in concert, these will determine the value and scope for substantial deployment of GIES systems.

In bringing to light the potential of the class of GIES systems, the research team will rectify a gap in energy systems thinking, in time to inform what will be a multi-billion pound expenditure in the coming decade. By providing the tools to analyse and deploy these systems, the research will open up a new avenue for cost-effective flexibility across the energy infrastructure of the UK and other regions worldwide.

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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk