Energy Storage Funding

Energy Storage Funding

Today’s funding and R&D announcements by business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) secretary Greg Clark have been welcomed as a “fantastic move” towards a modern, smart and flexible energy system.

Almost £250 million is to be deployed under the Faraday Challenge, which will see funding competitions carried out over four years in research and development, innovation in commercial applications and scalability of production.

While the government has long stated its support for the development of battery storage technology in the UK, the industry has been held back by a lack of policy development and central government funding. Today’s announcements by Clark have been welcomed as a sign that progress will now be made in earnest.

While the government’s primary goal is to see batteries developed for the UK’s electric automotive industry, storage is expected to play a significant role in the rapid changes underway in the energy system. The technology’s ability to manage increasing levels of renewable energy from wind and solar assets combined with its smart technology capabilities is already seeing it deployed in various regions.

UK Power Networks, the UK’s largest electricity distribution operator, recently set out its vision for the future through its DSO transition plan which is intended to enable customers to benefit from new technologies including generating, storing and selling their own electricity.

While welcoming some elements of today’s announcements, particularly the launch of a battery institute, the Renewable Energy Association’s head of policy and external affairs James Court said much more was needed.

“The UK is among the global leaders for battery technology, but for the handbrakes to be taken off we need to see the rules and regulations made in a different age updated for these new technologies and approaches, coupled with a renewed commitment to renewables.

With all being said, we are finally starting to see an inkling of a shift to the renewables and specifically battery storage revolution.