Government boosts battery storage

The Government is to relax planning legislation to make it easier to construct large batteries to store renewable energy from solar and wind farms across the UK.

The relaxation should help build the UK’s renewable energy storage and create new green jobs with the prospect of over 100 large-scale batteries being built, trebling the amount already in operation.

The change should make it easier to create storage projects above 50 MW in England and 350 MW in Wales, meaning more clean energy can be stored and used all year round.

Removing barriers for energy storage projects, which are discouraging bolder investment decisions in larger battery facilities, could treble the number of batteries serving the electricity grid. It will help bring about storage cells that are five times bigger than those currently available.

The UK currently has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, however because the availability and speed of wind is not constant, energy can sometimes be produced when it is not needed and then lost.

Minster for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Flexible technologies like batteries will form part of the UK’s smarter electricity grid, supporting the integration of more low-carbon power, heat and transport technologies, which it is estimated could save the UK energy system up to £40bn by 2050.”

Last month ministers invested £10m in the world’s largest and first liquid air battery facility in Manchester. The 50 MW project, to be built in Trafford, will be able to store energy for longer than a lithium battery.

RenewableUK’s director of policy and regulation Rebecca Williams said: “The growth in battery storage is accelerating extremely fast in the UK, including largescale projects at wind and solar farms which are increasing their flexibility by building energy storage on site. This helps to balance the grid, ensuring security of supply for consumers.

“Energy storage using a wide variety of innovative technologies is a global growth industry with more than 450 UK companies leading the way. We currently have over 580 projects, including battery storage, either operational, under construction or in development nationwide, with total capacity of over 17GW. Five years ago, we had a total energy storage pipeline of just 14 projects with a capacity of under 2.7GW.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories