Energising Your Business: An Overview of Energy Storage Solutions


John Thompson is a seasoned energy consultant with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability.

With an Oxford education and over 15 years in the industry, John’s expertise lies in simplifying complex energy concepts to help businesses reduce consumption and save money.

An avid hiker and bird-watcher, John brings his passion for the outdoors into his work.

Energy storage solutions play a pivotal role in contemporary business, particularly in our ever-evolving, technology-dependent landscape. Balancing the ebb and flow of energy supply and demand, these solutions safeguard operational continuity, bolster resilience and mitigate escalating energy costs.

The energy landscape in the UK is on a path of radical transformation. The Government’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is fuelling a shift away from fossil fuels towards renewables. This transition, while laudable, raises challenges around energy stability and reliability, underscoring the critical role of energy storage solutions.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of energy storage solutions for businesses, exploring their benefits, implementation, and future trends, along with actionable tips for businesses interested in adopting these solutions.

The Storage Spectrum: Understanding Energy Storage Solutions

Energy storage systems capture energy for use later. They span a wide range of technologies, from simple batteries to more complex solutions like pumped hydro storage, thermal energy storage, and flywheel energy storage.

The advantages of energy storage for businesses are manifold:

  • Ensuring reliable energy supply during power outages
  • Reducing costs by utilising stored energy during peak demand periods
  • Enhancing the feasibility of renewable energy systems
  • Improving operational efficiency and resilience

However, potential challenges must be considered, including upfront investment, system lifespan, and space requirements, among others.

Quantifying Needs: Evaluating Energy Storage Requirements

To implement an energy storage solution, businesses need to evaluate their specific needs. This evaluation includes assessing energy consumption patterns, identifying peak demand periods to exploit load shifting opportunities, and estimating the storage capacity required. These variables depend largely on business size, industry, and operational hours.

Harnessing Power: An Exploration of Energy Storage Technologies

Various energy storage technologies are available for businesses, each with their unique strengths and limitations.

Supercharging Business: Battery Storage Systems

Battery storage systems store energy in a chemical form. They range from conventional lead-acid batteries to advanced lithium-ion solutions. The costs, lifespan, safety, and environmental impacts vary considerably between types. Despite the significant initial investment, the return on investment can be impressive, especially when combined with solar PV systems.

Heightened Energy: Pumped Hydro Storage

Pumped hydro storage involves storing energy in the potential form by pumping water uphill to a storage reservoir and releasing it downhill to generate electricity when needed. Though this method requires specific geographical conditions and substantial infrastructure, it offers long-term, large-scale energy storage solutions with minimal environmental impact.

Storing Heat: Thermal Energy Storage

Thermal energy storage systems absorb and store excess heat for later use, providing an excellent solution for businesses that require heating or cooling. While these systems require proper insulation and may not be suited for all businesses, they are a proven, efficient way to shift energy usage from peak to off-peak periods.

Rapid Response: Flywheel Energy Storage

Flywheel systems store energy kinetically in a spinning rotor and can deliver power quickly in the event of a power outage. They offer high efficiency, long lifespans, and fast response times but might be more suitable for applications requiring short, high-power bursts.

Green Light for Green Energy: Funding and Incentives

To incentivise businesses to adopt greener energy practices, the UK government provides a myriad of financial aids and incentives. Recognising the integral role of energy storage in achieving a low-carbon economy, several funding schemes have been specifically designed to support the adoption of energy storage projects.

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is a competitive funding scheme to support the development and demonstration of innovative technologies and/or processes in the areas of energy efficiency, power generation, and heat and electricity storage. Since its inception, this fund has awarded £72m to 156 projects, helping to leverage over £500 million in private investment (data as of 2021).

Low Carbon Workspaces is a programme that offers grants of up to £5,000 to help small and medium-sized businesses in certain areas of the UK to implement energy efficiency measures, including energy storage systems. The scheme claims that, on average, businesses receiving a grant save around £1,300 a year on energy bills.

Beyond direct grants, various energy efficiency financing options are available to businesses interested in adopting energy storage solutions. Green loans and leases allow businesses to spread the cost of implementing an energy storage system over a period of time, reducing the financial burden of the upfront investment.

There are also attractive tax incentives for businesses investing in energy-efficient equipment. The Annual Investment Allowance allows businesses to deduct the full value of an item that qualifies for capital allowances, including energy storage systems, from their profits before tax. This allowance is £1 million until the end of 2023, offering substantial tax savings.

Moreover, the Climate Change Levy (CCL), a tax on energy delivered to non-domestic users in the UK, offers discounts for businesses that have entered into a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) and met energy efficiency or carbon-saving targets. This not only reduces the CCL businesses need to pay but also promotes the adoption of energy-efficient measures like energy storage.

The above incentives make it more financially viable for businesses to invest in energy storage solutions, reaping the associated benefits of reduced energy costs and greater resilience in their energy supply.

Implementing Energy Resilience: Deploying Energy Storage Solutions

Implementing energy storage solutions begins with a comprehensive energy audit to understand your business’s energy consumption patterns and requirements. Energy consultants and suppliers offer services to help businesses identify suitable solutions, considering factors such as energy usage, peak demand periods, available space, and budget.

Compliance with regulatory requirements is crucial. The UK regulations governing energy storage are evolving, with key legislation including the Electricity Act 1989, the Energy Act 2013, and various building and environmental regulations.

Integration with existing infrastructure involves considerations around physical installation, electrical integration, and system controls. Businesses may need to upgrade their electrical systems or make physical modifications to their premises to accommodate the storage system.

Furthermore, energy storage solutions often operate best in synergy with renewable energy sources. For example, businesses with solar PV installations can store excess solar energy during the day for use in the evening, significantly reducing reliance on the grid.

Learning from Experience: Real-World Energy Storage Case Studies

One successful example of implementing energy storage solutions in the UK is the Clayhill Solar Farm. As the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm, it combined 10MW of solar PV with a 6MW battery storage system. This project highlights how energy storage can enhance the value of renewable energy generation by enabling energy supply even when the sun isn’t shining.

This solution has enabled Clayhill to maximise its solar energy usage, reduce reliance on the grid, and lower its energy costs. It represents a significant step forward in the UK’s transition towards a more sustainable, low-carbon energy system.

Maintaining Power: Energy Storage Maintenance and Monitoring

Maintenance and monitoring of energy storage systems involve regular inspections, performance monitoring, and prompt troubleshooting to ensure optimal operation and longevity. Battery storage systems, for example, require periodic checks for corrosion, leakage, and damage, along with testing of the electrolyte levels and specific gravity.

Performance monitoring involves tracking metrics such as state of charge, output power, and energy efficiency. Modern storage systems often come with monitoring software that provides real-time data on these parameters, enabling businesses to quickly identify and resolve any performance issues.

Regular maintenance and monitoring not only extend the system’s lifespan but also enhance safety, efficiency, and return on investment.

Ahead of the Curve: Future Trends and Innovations in Energy Storage

The energy storage sector is indeed a hotbed of innovation. One promising area of development is the evolution of battery technology, particularly solid-state batteries. These batteries offer higher energy density, better safety, and longer lifespans compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. UK-based company Ilika is a frontrunner in developing this technology.

Another emerging trend is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in energy storage management. AI can optimise energy storage usage based on predictive analytics, potentially boosting efficiency and financial returns. UK’s Upside Energy is a pioneer in this area, developing a cloud-based platform that aggregates the capacity of multiple energy storage devices to create a virtual energy store.

Furthermore, the emergence of energy storage as a service (ESaaS) models is transforming how businesses adopt energy storage solutions. ESaaS providers offer energy storage solutions with no upfront capital expenditure, instead charging a monthly fee that includes installation, maintenance, and upgrades.

These innovations promise to enhance the feasibility and attractiveness of energy storage for businesses and have the potential to significantly impact the energy market in the UK and beyond.


In conclusion, energy storage solutions represent a valuable tool for businesses to enhance operational resilience, reduce energy costs, and contribute to a more sustainable future. This journey, while not without its challenges, promises significant benefits.

Businesses are encouraged to explore suitable options, engage with professionals, and take proactive steps to secure their energy future.


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