RenewableUK's recently published statistics show the number of applications to build battery storage projects in the United Kingdom is continuing to increase rapidly. Batteries play a key role in the modern flexible energy system, helping grid operators to finely balance the supply of electricity to meet demand and providing extra power resources when needed.
RenewableUK’s Project Intelligence report shows the total cumulative capacity of battery storage planning applications has soared from nearly 6900 MW a year ago to over 10,500 MW at present — enough to fully charge over a million electric vehicles (EVs). The market has developed extremely rapidly — in 2012, applications stood at just 2 MW. The number of U.K. companies involved in the sector has grown over the past 12 months from 300 to more than 450 and the average battery project size has increased slightly from 27 MW to 28 MW.
The report shows the United Kingdom now has a pipeline of over 600 MW of compressed air or liquid air storage projects in development. The pipeline of storage projects is expected to continue growing and an increasing number of grid-scale battery projects of over 50 MW are expected, after the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) agreed earlier this year to change planning rules which have, up to now, deterred development at this scale.
Renewables developers are at the forefront of the market. Alongside cutting-edge companies like KiWi Power and RES, EDF moved into the market last month by acquiring Pivot Power, which has one of the largest portfolios of storage projects in development in the United Kingdom.
RenewableUK’s Director of Future Electricity Systems, Barnaby Wharton, said, “As we build the net-zero energy system of the future based on renewables, we’re changing the way we manage the entire network, using a wide variety of extraordinarily innovative storage technologies. The pace of change in the industry is hugely exciting. Energy storage has reached a tipping point with major companies entering this new market, providing new services to guarantee the security our energy supplies and maximizing the amount of power available, providing massive benefits to consumers.”