06 Apr 2021
Quentin Scrimshire

Why is Modo obsessed with energy storage?

Think back to the first e-mail you sent, the first time you caught an Uber and your first ride in an electric car. You know that things are going to be different from now on. Grid-scale energy storage is in that moment. Right now.

Are we obsessed? Probably. This technology will fundamentally change our electricity system forever. The missing link to a renewable energy mix. It’s disrupting the economics of power infrastructure and reshaping how electricity is bought, sold, transmitted and consumed.

The operational models of conventional fossil fuelled plant are being chewed up and spat out by this high-tech, low-marginal-cost asset class.

Slowly, then all at once. Batteries are popping up everywhere, from fields to car parks, brownfield and greenfield across the land. New, dynamic, fastest-finger-first services for the most responsive energy assets the grid has ever seen. A blink of an eye and humble shipping containers deliver full throttle, no-nonsense power.

This boom is distributed. Decentralised. Highly competitive. A breath of fresh air for an industry of monopolies and regulation. An almost counter-cultural, disestablishment movement, questioning the role of the transmission and distribution system as a concept, as an idea. Square pegs squish into round holes. The energy storage sphere rewards entrepreneurial spirit and creative output above the mundane. But, still, it punishes.

The definition of pain? Build a Microsoft Excel project finance model for an energy storage project, then explain it. Some out-of-body experiences transcend discomfort.

Still, momentum builds. Complexity and chaos is a petri dish for innovation. Automated systems jostle with human energy traders at the podium. The technology curve accelerates - 40 hours a week isn’t enough to stay on top. There’s so much to learn, so much room to grow, and we’re still so early in the adoption cycle. 1.1 GW in GB today, 30 GW by 2050. This is only the beginning. We’ve hardly even got going, yet we’ve come so far.

So. Ask us again.