My question on renewables and energy storage to the Minister
The cost of producing renewable energy has fallen rapidly in recent years and is predicted to be cheaper than all forms of nuclear or fossil fuels by the mid-2020s. The only thing holding renewables back is the cost of storing the energy and making it available when we need it. The UK has plenty of wind, sun and tides to power businesses and homes, but we have to invest in the storage capacity to make this a reality.
Storage comes in many forms. Installing a hot water tank in every home that has solar panels would reduce gas bills for heating bath and shower water. If those solar panels are still producing more energy during the day than you need, then a large house battery is an option, especially if you are charging up your electric vehicle in the evenings. Tesla expects that the cost of their home battery pack will drop to a quarter of its current price in the next decade, which makes it possible for millions of homes to get one.
That means that millions of households and businesses will probably disappear off grid in future years, as they switch to renewables, plus storage. This is good news for the planet, but it will primarily driven by consumers seeking the best deal. My question to the government today was focused on what happens to those who can’t afford solar panels, or new water tanks?
Why don’t we bring the costs down even faster by switching government subsidies away from the production of energy from nuclear and fossil fuels, and towards household/business storage? It makes much more sense to invest in a future of decentralised energy production and consumption, rather than the centralised and environmentally damaging industries of the past.