Energy storage is key to increasing grid flexibility and future-proofing the UK’s electricity grid. It allows the integration of more renewable sources of power, such as solar panels and wind turbines, and also helps the grid cope with peaks in demand without the need for expensive new generation infrastructure.
Over the next few years the UK’s energy storage capacity is set to expand significantly, according to a new database compiled by RenewableUK.
Planning applications to install battery storage capacity have increased from just 2MW in 2012 to a total of 6.87GW this year. What’s more, the average capacity of applications for new battery storage projects has gone up from 10MW in 2016 to 27MW today.
With more than nine in ten (92%) applications for storage projects being approved first time, this is likely to result in a huge expansion of storage infrastructure.
The UK currently has 3.3GW of storage capacity (including hydro projects) operational and a further 5.4GW has planning consent – including 4.8GW of battery storage, which is enough capacity to fully charge 480,000 electric vehicles.
Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of the renewable energy trade association, said: “The energy sector is breaking new ground by making an unprecedented transition to a clean, flexible system which will power our country in the future. Energy storage is already playing a key part in that, from small local projects to grid-scale schemes.”
Comprehensive information on nearly 400 UK energy storage projects is included in the new database, which is accessible to RenewableUK members. It shows where operational projects are located on an interactive map, as well as schemes being planned and under construction, including those sited alongside solar, wind and tidal energy projects.