Pumped hydro energy storage tech can bring £690m in savings a year

Long term pumped hydro with long term storage could unlock vast savings says new report

Pathway to COP26 report

Energy system could save an estimated £690 million a year by investing in pumped hydro energy storage technologies.

A new study by the Imperial College London has found that just 4.5GW of new long-duration pumped hydro storage with 90GWh of storage could save up that amount in energy costs by 2050.

The report, which was commissioned by SSE Renewables and focused on the benefits of new long-duration pumped hydro storage in Scotland, suggests long-duration storage is able to continuously charge up the storage with excess renewables and also discharge power to the grid for several hours or days when wind and solar output is low.

In October, the Scottish Government greenlighted what is believed to become the UK’s largest pumped hydro energy storage scheme, named Coire Glas, located in the Scottish Highlands.

The 1.5GW project, which will be developed by SSE Renewables, is predicted to more than double the current amount of pumped hydro storage capacity in Britain.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “The Scottish Government has long been supportive of pumped hydro storage for its role in ensuring resilience in our electricity supplies, and for the tremendous opportunity it provides to unlock the potential of renewable energy and support Scotland’s net zero ambitions.”

Mike Seaton, Director of Development at SSE Renewables, said: “Following the recent reconsent of Coire Glas we are now progressing the project through further refinement and studies and believe it could come online by the end of the decade, generating thousands of jobs in the process.”

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