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The Building Services Relationship to the National Grid
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The Building Services Relationship to the National Grid

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Session 12 Paper 4, CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium, Imperial College, London UK
18th and 19th April 2012


There is a need for radical changes to occur in the UK's power network in order to reduce the country’s Carbon Dioxide emissions. By 2020 the installed capacity of renewable generation plant is predicted to be 20GW, eight times greater than today. This will then increase to 35GW by 2025 and is likely to be accompanied by more significant capacities of nuclear power generation. In making these changes to energy generation, we must also change the way which energy is used.
Intermittency in the output from renewable energy generation plant combined with the need to operate nuclear plants at constant output means that flexibility in energy demand is important to maximise the utilisation of renewable energy generation. This means being able to store energy when generated energy exceeds the demand. When output from generation plant drops the demand on the grid can be reduced by using the energy which has been stored.

Whilst a significant amount of research is currently being invested in energy storage within the grid, energy storage systems within buildings can have a significant role in achieving this demand management given the proportion of energy consumed by the built environment. Building integrated energy storage will:

- Allow buildings to be used for load shedding during drops in renewable energy generation output.
- Allow demand to be managed to reduce the peak loads on the electrical network which could help offset the effect of electrification of transport and space heating.
- Store energy when excess generation from renewable sources exists.
- Contribute to bridging the lulls which can occur during prolonged periods of low output from renewable power.

There are many well-established and cost effective building integrated energy storage technologies that can be implemented to provide significant quantities of energy generation by 2020. However current regulations and environmental certifications do not encourage the use of building integrated energy storage.

This paper will identify and demonstrate the importance of building integrated energy storage with reference to current national energy usage. This will include both the increased presence of low carbon energy generation in the mix and the potential future electrification of heating.

Engineers must be aware of the impact their designs have beyond the meter in the context national sustainability.