In recent years the potential benefits of energy storage have become widely recognised. To date, the majority of activity has concentrated on detailed engineering development. However, as a 2012 RAEng report noted, three strategic questions hamper further effective technology development:
- How much storage is needed?
- What technologies should be developed?
- Where should these technologies be deployed (e.g. grid, city, homes)?
Furthermore, initial research indicates both that decentralised storage offers the most attractive early opportunities and that it provides greatest benefit when placed close to large demand centres.
Around 80% of the UK population lives in urban areas, with cities responsible for about 70% of UK energy use. Thus, the importance of cities in tackling key energy targets is increasingly recognised, as are the social, environmental and economic benefits to city residents of appropriate energy provision.
The Consortium for Modelling and Analysis of Decentralised Energy Storage, or C-MADEnS, is carrying out research into the role of decentralised energy storage within cities, focusing on the cities of Leeds and Birmingham.
C-MADEnS comprises academics and researchers from 4 leading UK universities:
- The University of Leeds
- The University of Birmingham
- The University of Warwick
- Loughborough University
The research within C-MADEnS is split into 6 work packages:
- Multi-scale modelling of energy storage opportunities
- Distributed energy storage technology validation
- Policy and regulatory environment analysis
- Business models for city scale energy storage
- Public perceptions of energy storage technologies and infrastructure
- Identifying and analysing “real-world” opportunities for distributed energy storage