The SPIRE 2 project will involve collaboration between lead coordinator Ulster University, 3 research institutes and 14 businesses via a cross-border Virtual Research Graduate School.
SPIRE 2 will address how consumer-owned energy storage can resolve the problem of the variability of renewable energy (RE) output.
The project will explore how homes and businesses can store renewable energy effectively, allowing very high levels of RE to be integrated into power grids globally, at the same time as maximising the benefits to consumers.
SPIRE 2 will aim to evaluate, develop and facilitate the wide-scale deployment of Mass Energy Storage (MES) technologies to operate profitably in new market structures of UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The project will generate a deeper understanding of the role and commercial viability of MES in enabling increasing levels of intermittent power generation.
Project leader Professor Neil Hewitt, who is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies at Ulster University, said:
“The announcement by the Business Secretary Greg Clarke outlined how the UK Government intends to stimulate a drastic modernisation of energy markets. BBC News "Electricity shake-up could save consumers 'up to £40bn'"
“The SPIRE 2 project will help to deliver this by looking at how energy storage resources owned by homeowners and businesses can resolve the problem of the variability of output from renewable energy. If consumers can store energy effectively, that will allow very high levels of renewables to be integrated into power grids globally, at the same time as putting consumers at the heart of the energy system.”
“Collaboration between research institutes and businesses is key to the success of this project and we are excited to be working with so many partner organisations. Working together, we can intensify technological innovation in the region and create pathways to commercialise advanced energy storage solutions. We want this region to be internationally recognised as an energy storage innovator as this will attract global industry interest and investment.
“The project will create 17 PhD studentships and will further develop six post-doctoral researchers. By creating this supply of highly-educated developers, able to transform research ideas into commercial reality, SPIRE 2 will also contribute to local economic growth. These positions are now open to applicants and offer an opportunity to be involved in strategically significant global energy research.”