UK energy storage nears 4GW

2nd June 2020 | Commercial Energy

Almost 4GW of energy storage capacity is now connected to the UK network with a further 9GW in the planning process, according to a new report released today by the Electricity Storage Network (ESN). The report – Electricity Storage: Pathways to a Net Zero Future – said there is a “shovel ready” pipeline of billions of pounds worth of electricity storage projects.

These projects could form a key part of a green recovery if there is a clear trajectory from government for the role of storage in the electricity system, giving investors the confidence to proceed, it added. However, about 5.5GW of projects have been granted planning consent, but are awaiting construction, indicating that there are factors inhibiting progress, the report said.

Energy storage

It sets out recommendations for the government and for industry to build a sustainable industry that allows storage to be deployed at the scale needed to support the UK’s transition to net zero. The recommendations include calling on the government to set a clear signal for the trajectory of storage over the next decade.

Government and industry should also develop a plan for long-duration storage, including revenue mechanisms that would fund such projects beyond the research and development phase. Market barriers must be eliminated to fully value the services that storage can provide. Flexibility markets should value carbon and provide transparent reporting on the carbon intensity of all services.

Projections of the amount of storage needed by 2035 range from 15GW to 29GW, the report said. ESN policy lead and report author Madeleine Greenhalgh said, “Electricity storage has a vital role to play in the transition to a zero-carbon electricity system and in tackling the climate emergency. “The UK has a strong electricity storage sector that has started to deploy at scale, with a 9GW pipeline of projects that could form a key part of a green recovery from the effects of coronavirus. We need the UK government to set a clear pathway for storage over the crucial next decade, to give investors the confidence to build out these projects.”

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