Government charges up energy storage sector with £20m boost

BEIS is aiming for up to three demonstration projects to be built and tested by the end of 2021

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The government is providing £20 million for new, innovative and cost-competitive energy storage technologies.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a new competition for projects that can potentially compete with more established technologies on a commercial level, driving down cost and making it “desirable” for investors.

Up to three demonstration projects are expected to be built and tested by the end of 2021 under the ‘Storage at Scale’ competition.

They could include electrical energy storage with a minimum power output of 30MW such as compressed air, flow batteries and fly wheels and power-to-x projects with a minimum power input of 5MW where hydrogen, ammonia or biomethane could be generated from excess renewable production and stored.

The competition will consider proposals for pre-commercial innovative large, static electrical energy or power-to-x energy storage facilities, however, it is not open to conventional types of technologies like lithium-ion batteries, lead acid batteries or pumped hydro.

Additionally, funding will not be provided for technologies that are already widely commercially deployed in the UK or elsewhere or projects that have received public sector funding in the UK for programmes at a similar scale.

The demonstrations should be cost-competitive to existing storage technologies and address limitations such as degradation and lifetime issues, geographical restrictions as well as safety and sustainability concerns.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “We are moving to a cleaner, greener economy with renewable generation set to play an integral part of our smarter energy future. Energy storage, which helps store electricity when the wind isn’t blowing or sun isn’t shining, can help us change the way we power the world for the bettwe.

“That is why, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re committing £20 million to commercialise novel energy storage technology which can provide the right infrastructure for our growing renewables industry.”

The final date for registrations is 17th April and proposals must be submitted by 26th April 2019.

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