A new study has highlighted how connecting more variable renewables to the power system will increase volatility.

Renewables will account for more than half of electricity generation in both the UK and Germany by the mid-2020s, the report said, with the cost of solar and wind expected to halve from present levels by 2040.

Despite a “significant increase” in the amount of variable renewables on the system, the total back-up capacity needed by 2040 in the UK and Germany will be much the same as in 2017, the research found.

The joint report was compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, power management company Eaton and the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

Role of battery storage

Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the REA, said: “Massive increases in future renewable power generation mean that industry and government must start planning now to ensure low-carbon, cost-effective ways of balancing demand and supply.

“We believe that there is a role for fuelled renewable technologies such as bioenergy and energy from waste to provide the complementary baseload generation that will be required, to avoid the need for carbon intensive generation at all.

“This study shows that battery storage is well placed to serve short-term supply and demand issues and highlights the dramatic cost reductions in renewable power over the past few years.”

> Download the executive summary (requires registration)