As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, Utility Week presents a showcase of some of the most promising energy storage technologies. Tom Grimwood explores the potential – and the limitations – of solutions ranging from flow batteries to liquid air energy storage and the use of gravity, among others.

By Tom Grimwood

Latest

Eight years ago, Anglian Water developed a new hydrolysis technology to maximise biogas production from the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge – a process that also reduced operating costs and carbon emissions. Steve Riches, Anglian’s lead for HpH technology, explains that the system is now ripe for wider adoption.
Case studies
Utility Week’s report explores the need for change to historical low voltage network monitoring approaches from DNOs and highlights advances in technology which can help them derive multi-layered value from new monitoring investments.
Downloads
The non-domestic water sector's battle against long unread meters is livening up. With the pairing initiative and the risk of regulatory penalties, long unreads have never been a hotter topic.
Downloads

Editor's picks

Collaborative innovation within the water sector is currently high on the agenda, thanks to the Ofwat Innovation Fund. A team from the University of Sheffield has distilled its work on how best to build partnering relationships that lead to viable innovations into a new downloadable guide for the sector.
Opinion
In the second of three articles, BPF Pipes Group (a division of the British Plastics Federation) explores the policy drivers behind the circular economy, and how recycling and re-use can bring us into better alignment with the natural world.
Comment
Utilities are increasingly looking to digital twins as a way of tackling many of the customer, net zero, regulatory and operational challenges they face. What lessons can be learnt from sectors that are already using this technology?
Opinion
Over three quarters of senior utilities leaders have concerns that a lack of robust data about the sustainability of internal and supply chain operations will hamper delivery of net zero transition goals, according to new research conducted by Utility Week.
News
The Utility Week Awards are returning to London’s Grosvenor Hotel this December. See a full list of categories and find out how to enter here.
News
Download Utility Week’s report to discover the factors driving industry pilots of open banking technology to improve debt and payment management in the post-pandemic world.
Downloads
What enabling actions are needed to ensure we make best use of data and digitalisation on the road to net zero? A new report from Utility Week and CGI highlights five key requirements.
Analysis
DNOs regularly publish Distribution Future Energy Scenarios, but these often overlook the developing complexity on the low voltage networks. As UW Innovate reports, WPD has now devised a new methodology, called EPIC, to capture data from local authorities and use it for more sensitive and localised analysis.
Analysis
The Utility Week Awards are returning to London’s Grosvenor Hotel this December. See a full list of categories and find out how to enter here.
News
Over three quarters of senior utilities leaders have concerns that a lack of robust data about the sustainability of internal and supply chain operations will hamper delivery of net zero transition goals, according to new research conducted by Utility Week.
News
The gas sector is two-thirds of the way through a 30 year programme to replace 'at risk' iron gas mains, within 30m of buildings. But with each pipe presenting a unique set of risk characteristics and renewal costs and benefits, how can gas distributors plan their forward work programmes? Cadent has turned to software provider Probit, as Tim Watson explains.
Analysis
An Innovate UK trial to reduce clutter for on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging has gone live. The first chargepoints have been installed as part of the Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways (STEP) project, funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and delivered by Innovate UK
News
A network of EV charging stations is taking shape, but what if this technology is joined by a rival methodology, wireless charge-as-you-drive? Researchers are already laying test strips in roadways, and Western Power Distribution is examining the implications for its networks. UW Innovate spoke to WPD innovation manager Yiango Mavrocostanti.
Interviews
Utilities consultancy Reson8 explores how to reduce carbon emissions by 12 per cent from commercial vehicles by making scheduling more efficient. This could cut the fuel needed for journeys to save time, money and carbon.
Opinion
Greater flexibility could cut energy system costs by £16.7 billion per year by 2050, according to new research from the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London. The report said flexibility should be embedded into all sectors of the energy system – power, heat and transport – to reduce the impact and cost of their decarbonisation.
News
An official for Cambridge City Council has raised concerns over a “headlong rush” towards air-source heat pumps, saying there are “lots of problems” with the technology, particularly within urban areas. Environmental quality and growth manager Jo Dicks made the comments during a discussion of retrofitting as part of Utility Week’s Future of Heat conference.
News
The energy sector is seeing a rapid evolution of customer journeys and channels, with consumer expectations growing all the time. But are the energy market and the systems changing fast enough to meet these needs? This new white paper from Coeus Consulting considers some of the key challenges facing technology leaders across the energy sector and their wider significance.
Downloads
Local authorities are facing the dual pressures of boosting investment and decreasing emissions. However, these goals are not mutually exclusive. As part of our Countdown to COP series, SSE’s Stephen Stead looks at how forward-thinking councils are seeking to use the post-Covid economic recovery to modernise their energy infrastructure.
Opinion
Energy retailer Bulb has outlined plans to offer low-income or vulnerable customers a free smart thermostat. The company will trial the free fittings of Google Nest Thermostat E devices in 2,000 West Midlands homes and, if successful, will expand it to 30,000 properties across the UK.
News
Yorkshire Water has announced three smart wastewater network pilots aimed at improving understanding of assets as well as reducing sewer flooding and pollution.
News
Bristol Water is an early adopter of a new satellite-based safety monitoring system to protect its 15 dams. But how exactly does the Damsat system work, and what can it achieve? Chris Goff, technical director of HR Wallingford, the engineering group behind it, answers UW Innovate’s questions.
Interviews
Water companies in the UK are facing new legislation to deal with the sewage discharge problem, plus continued regulatory pressure on leaks and water quality. But tech solutions, such as virtual modelling via a ‘digital twin’, are bringing results to water companies in Germany, Sweden and the UK, as Andrew Welsh, sales director for global water technology company Xylem reports.
Comment
Power quality issues such as voltage sags and surges were the root cause of unexplained outages at a Severn Trent water treatment works (WTW) near Melbourne, Derbyshire. Stuart Dealing, ABB’s product marketing manager, looks at how installing active voltage conditioners (AVCs) resolved the issues.
Analysis
The water sector must find ways to cut the emissions from its most energy intensive activity - wastewater treatment. Industry experts discussed how this could be done and what challenges stand in the way of creating a circular economy to benefit from what has previously been considered waste.
Analysis
The winners of the this year’s Water Industry Awards have now been unveiled, recognising the best and brightest projects and people the industry has to offer.
News
Water companies in the UK are facing new legislation to deal with the sewage discharge problem, plus continued regulatory pressure on leaks and water quality. But tech solutions, such as virtual modelling via a ‘digital twin’, are bringing results to water companies in Germany, Sweden and the UK, as Andrew Welsh, sales director for global water technology company Xylem reports.
Comment
Submissions for 15 strategic water resource schemes have been put forward to Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) as part of resilience plans, with the intention of being shovel ready by the start of AMP8
News
Contractors often need to connect to water company hydrants as part of essential operations, including sewer and drain cleaning, gulley emptying and street sweeping. A new app helps water companies and contractors maintain accurate records of hydrant use, protecting contractors from expensive errors and offering water companies valuable data.
News
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