UK has 16GW battery storage pipeline

The latest Energy Storage Project Intelligence report from RenewableUK calculates that there is more than 16.1GW of battery storage capacity operating, under construction or being planned in the UK across 729 projects.

An earlier report, published in December 2019, identified a total pipeline of 10.5GW across 600 energy storage projects, demonstrating that the market has developed rapidly; in 2012 applications stood at just 2MW.

The new document reveals that 1.1GW of battery storage capacity is currently operational compared to 0.7GW identified in December 2019. A further 0.6GW is under construction, 8.3GW of capacity is consented and 1.6GW is in the planning system. 4.5GW are identified as being at an early stage of development for future submission into the planning system.

Secondary legislation came into force in December allowing local planning authorities to determine projects with a capacity of over 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales. Previously these were determined by central Government, making the process longer and more complex.

An additional 6GW of energy storage from liquefied and compressed air, pumped hydro, flywheels and gravity-based technology is operating, under construction or being planned, bringing the total UK energy storage portfolio capacity to more than 22GW.

RenewableUK’s director of future electricity systems Barnaby Wharton said: “This is our deepest dive ever into the state of play in the UK’s innovative energy storage sector, revealing more comprehensive statistics than anyone has published before. We’re already seeing grid-scale batteries of 50MW being built, providing valuable flexibility to the grid, and we expect many projects with an even larger capacity will be submitted into the planning system following the removal of the 50MW cap.”

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