While the US market is very active, especially in California, Energy Storage in the UK and Europe is a slower play. We have of course seen big progress and companies such as RES, AES, Nidec and LG Chem involved in utility scale deployment here. But right now the costs make most sense in areas of weak grid, where diesel is the alternative. We are seeing clients grow operations in Africa and South East Asia to address these markets that are technically at least straight forward, and economically viable. There are of course other challenges, but nothing that can't be overcome by having the right people in the right place!
There is a growing worldwide trend for microgrids as communities and industrial facilities in locations that are remote or have a weak grid connection are seeking to improve the reliability and autonomy of their electricity supplies as well as meeting growing demand and optimising their operating costs. Conventionally, operators have relied on diesel generators. But operators are now turning to renewables and especially solar photovoltaic (PV) installations to reduce their reliance on diesel fuel. Creating schemes in which diesel generation and PV plant complement each other can offer considerable savings in terms of the costs of fuel purchase, transport and handling as well as maintenance, since diesel gensets are required to operate for fewer hours. There are also environmental benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions.