The UK energy sector is going through the most significant period of change ever. UK coal fired power stations, the historic backbone of the UK power generation sector, are being removed from the energy mix. The deployment of new renewable generation, predominantly wind and solar PV, is increasing at pace. The increasing proportion of renewable generation is helping the UK reduce its CO2 emissions but is adding increased intermittency to the grid.

Flexible gas capacity

To accommodate this new renewable capacity, it is becoming clear that significant flexible capacity is needed in the system. Batteries and storage deployment opportunities are set to increase significantly as the need for such technology increases and the cost of deploying that technology falls. Storage will have a key role to play in providing balancing and ancillary services, some of which were provided or obviated through historic presence of large coal-generating units.

The intermittency period associated with wind will mean that battery storage alone will not be able to balance out the intermittency on the system. It is clear that significant new and flexible gas capacity must be added to the system.

Environmental considerations

Whilst modern efficient gas plant has a carbon footprint, the deployment of such capacity both enables the deeper penetration of intermittent renewable capacity and improves overall emissions if replacing older and less efficient gas and diesel generation capacity.

Investment opportunities

The Brockwell team have significant experience successfully deploying capital into the flexible generation space. We will continue to assess and monitor investment opportunities around

  • Gas reciprocating engines

  • OCGT opportunities

  • Battery storage deployment opportunities

  • Co-location of battery storage with renewables