UK Clears Path for Large Battery Storage Projects

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

The move could allow for over 100 large-scale batteries to be built across the UK, trebling the amount already in operation.

Removing barriers for energy storage projects is also expected to help bring about storage cells that are five times bigger than those currently available.

The UK 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.

The ministers will now introduce secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50 MW in England and 350 MW in Wales, allowing for more clean energy to be stored and used all year round.

Energy storage has played a key role in balancing the UK’s electricity system during the 20 per cent drop in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring what was produced was used efficiently, the government said.

”The key to capturing the full value of renewables is in ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy even when the sun is not shining, or the wind has stopped blowing,” Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said.

”Removing barriers in the planning system will help us build bigger and more powerful batteries, creating more green-collar jobs and a smarter electricity network.

There is currently 4 GW of storage projects in planning in the UK, in addition to the 1 GW of battery storage already in operation.

The UK government is investing more than GBP 3 billion in low-carbon innovation, as the UK aims to end its contribution to climate change entirely by 2050.

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