A new trade association has been launched to promote the use of thermal storage in buildings in the UK and beyond.
Thermal Storage UK has been founded by Tom Lowe, who has previously worked at Bulb, Ofgem and British Gas amongst other companies in the energy sector since 2010.
He set up Thermal Storage UK with its three founding members – Caldera, Sunamp and Tepeo – in December 2021, before its official launch on 29 March.
“The UK needs to speed up the removal of carbon from the heating of buildings,” said Lowe.
“Thermal storage can support renewables, lower carbon emissions and reduce bills. Great British companies are leading the world on thermal storage. Now is the time to electrify heating and reduce fossil fuel imports.”
The trade association highlighted that 23% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from heating buildings, which is still dominated by the burning of fossil fuels. The electrification of heat is expected to play a key role in decarbonising the sector and allowing the country to reach net zero.
“As winter electricity demand could quadruple by 2050, this requires more flexibility. Thermal storage has a big role to play,” Thermal Storage UK stated.
Current± caught up with founding member Caldera’s CEO James Macnaghten in 2021 to discuss the potential role of heat batteries in a low-carbon heat future. Since then the company has secured a £470,000 grant from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to help it rollout its Warmstone battery to 12 pilot homes.
Sunamp has also recently received a chunk of funding from BEIS, as part of its Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme. The company was awarded just under £150,000 for a feasibility study to extend the duration of phase change material (PCM) based thermal storage for heating and hot water.
Thermal Storage UK will “strengthen the UK’s already leading role in this fast growing global market” said Sunamp CEO Andrew Bissell.
“We expect the UK government to respond by working with us towards a strong policy framework for the technology helping set global standards. Thermal storage for hot water, space heating and cooling is a key element for decarbonising buildings in the UK and around the globe.”