Posted March 24th, 2022 in Energy Storage

By Dave Pell, Commercial Director, AMTE Power

AMTE Power is supporting the UK’s energy resilience and transition to net-zero with cell technology for home energy storage systems. Here’s a look at why these systems and British manufacturing expertise are so important for meeting the country’s future energy needs.

It’s hard to avoid headlines about the soaring cost of household energy bills as global supply chain pressures and the war in Ukraine push up oil and gas prices. Boosting the UK’s domestic power production – in particular from renewables – will be key to managing the cost of living and supporting the UK’s energy security.

Investing in energy storage is vital for maximising the output from renewable sources such as wind and solar. That’s because renewables cannot generate energy continuously. The power they produce fluctuates depending on the weather. This creates challenges for traditional electricity grids which are not designed for peaks and troughs of supply and can’t manage this variable flow.

Energy storage at both renewable farms and at our homes will help to reduce peak power loads on the grid. Combined with a more decentralised, distributed model of energy generation and deployment, it is going to be an essential building block of the UK’s future energy mix.

The future of residential energy storage

Bloomberg estimates that installations of home energy storage batteries will rise from 6GWh in 2019 to 155GWh annually by 2030, so the demand and potential for innovation are there. Yet only five per cent of the energy used to heat our homes today comes from low-carbon sources and massive growth is expected as part of the transition to net zero in the next 15 to 20 years. This will create an even clearer need for domestic storage. As energy prices become more volatile too, more homeowners will undoubtedly consider the benefits of domestic storage.

Sodium-ion cell batteries explained

Building new supply chains and chemistries specifically for the home storage market will be key in meeting demand. The price of lithium has gone up by 276 per cent since the beginning of 2021 due to growing global requirements. It is expected that, globally, lithium demand will reach an estimated 1.8 million tonnes by 2030. We need to find an alternative.

Sodium-ion cells provide an excellent, safer and more sustainable option than lithium for energy storage because sodium is safe and plentiful – you can extract it from almost any type of salt deposit.

UK manufacturing for net-zero living

AMTE Power is working on sodium-ion cells that will be used to manufacture home energy storage batteries in the UK.

These sodium-ion cells will shortly be tested at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. The project is part of the Interreg North-West Europe STEPS programme and benefits from expert support provided by UK STEPS business partner, Cambridge CleanTech, and knowledge partner, the Faraday Institution.

Green jobs and home-developed batteries

Our sodium-ion cells will be made at scale in our UK production facilities, helping to create significant new manufacturing jobs, drive innovation and develop short, low carbon supply chains.
We’ll provide customers with all the economic and social benefits created by ‘made in the UK’ using innovative, safe sodium ion products.

For all of us, the front line of the fight against climate change will be the incremental steps and behavioural changes we make in our day to day lives. The UK home energy storage market will be one of these critical steps and central to supporting the UK’s net-zero delivery.