The Government lists energy storage as one of eight great technologies in which the UK can become a global leader. This briefing outlines the roles of energy storage in the electricity, heat and transport sectors and describes the technologies used from the household level up. It also discusses current barriers and policies for energy storage and potential future uptake.

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    Smart meters record energy and water usage and improve how this information is relayed to both consumer and suppliers. The Government plans to roll-out smart meters of electricity and gas to all households in Great Britain by the end of 2020. This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and risks associated with smart metering of both water and energy, and the challenges for the energy smart metering roll-out.

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    Sources of electricity that exhibit uncontrolled increases or decreases in output are often referred to as intermittent. This POSTnote examines the effect of wind, solar, wave and tidal intermittency on electricity prices, carbon dioxide emissions and the provision of electricity to meet demand. The note also describes measures to manage intermittency.

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    Nuclear power stations provide a low carbon source of electricity, which could help the UK achieve its policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. This POSTnote reviews new and potential future nuclear power technologies. It also outlines the regulatory approach toward new nuclear build and summarises some of the related challenges.

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    Demand-Side Response describes electricity users (the demand side) changing their patterns of use in response to incentives. It is one of several options eligible for Government support introduced by the 2013 Energy Act. This POSTnote outlines DSR, how it is provided, its role for the UK and its potential future development.

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    If emissions of greenhouse gases are not sufficiently mitigated, it may become necessary to artificially accelerate the rate at which they are removed from the atmosphere in order to restrict global warming. This POSTnote provides an overview of some technologies that could remove atmospheric CO2 and summarises the environmental, social and economic issues they raise.

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    A tidal energy barrage across the Severn Estuary could produce up to 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. It would help meet renewable energy targets but would have significant environmental impacts. This POSTnote summarises evidence on environmental impacts associated with the operation of tidal energy barrages and the effectiveness of compensatory measures.

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    Heat pumps capture ambient heat from the air or the ground and transfer it inside a building. They provide an efficient alternative to conventional methods of heating, such as boilers. This POSTnote summarises the use of heat pump technology for residential buildings and the constraints to their uptake in the UK.

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    This POSTnote introduces the factors and interventions that can influence behaviour, and discusses the behavioural aspects of the Green Deal and the smart meters programme.

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    Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.

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    Solar power has the potential to provide low carbon electricity and to generate employment. This POSTnote discusses the development of solar power in the UK and summarises debate over feed-in tariffs - financial support policies introduced in 2010 to stimulate take-up.