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UK breaks record for longest continuous period running without coal

The UK went coal free for more than 90 hours over the Easter weekend, thereby breaking the previous record set on April 2018 of 76 hours and 10 minutes. This encouraging rise of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar exposes the serious lack of storage capacity with which to control the supply from these intermittent energy sources. Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are the answer.

Ben Guest, Head of Gresham House New Energy and Manager of the Gresham House Energy Storage Fund said:

“Energy storage in the UK and globally is set to grow exponentially. The UK has fixed carbon targets driving the energy landscape towards intermittent renewables such as wind and solar. The latest BEIS forecast sees renewables at 50% of electricity generation by 2021. For this to be cost effective, ESS are essential infrastructure. Since last year’s milestone and the record set this Easter holiday we have seen more evidence of this need. For example, National Grid continues to make huge payments to curtail renewable or other generation when there is too much of it as ESS are not yet present in sufficient quantities to help. This will only get worse as penetration grows. It could be said that National Grid’s “wallet” is standing in for ESS. The Gresham House Energy Storage Fund offers attractive income and capital growth potential to investors while at the same time the chance to participate in the UK’s energy revolution.”

The Gresham House Energy Storage Fund launched in November 2018 raising £100m and was established to deliver returns from investing in utility-scale battery energy storage systems.

  • The Fund is currently c.60% invested in five energy storage system (ESS) projects with remaining proceeds from the IPO expected to be fully committed in the first half of this 2019 and the intention to raise additional funds as part of the placing programme allowed under the Prospectus.
  • Once fully invested, together with appropriate debt, the Fund could generate a total annual return of 15%, with inflation-linked income from supplying the grid supplemented by trading in the wholesale energy market. The Fund’s first dividend is expected to be declared this month.
  • Curtailment is necessary today as the electricity grid currently has no means to store the excess electricity generated and this is ultimately an additional cost that the consumer is forced to pay.
  • The average annual electricity bill for consumption of 3,800kWh in 2018 was £583, increasing from £533 in 2016[1]. Reducing the amount of energy wasted will help curb increasing costs.

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