Britain’s energy storage sector records significant growth in 2019

Over 10,500MW of battery storage planning applications have been made in the UK, compared with 6900MW a year ago, according to new research from RenewableUK (R-UK).

The trade body's latest Project Intelligence report said that the number of companies involved in the sector is now more than 450, up from about 300 this time last year.

R-UK said that average project size rose slightly in the last 12 months to 28MW from 27MW previously.

“The pipeline of storage projects is expected to continue growing and an increasing number of grid-scale battery projects of over 50MWs are expected, after BEIS agreed earlier this year to change planning rules which have, up to now, deterred development at this scale,” it added.

The report said that renewables developers are at the forefront of the market.

It said the UK also has a pipeline of over 600MW of compressed air or liquid air storage projects in development.

Gravitricity is developing gravity-based storage and OXTO Energy is pioneering the use of flywheels in energy storage, while RheEnergised is developing dense liquids as an alternative to pumped storage, R-UK said.

R-UK 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 maximising the amount of power available, providing massive benefits to consumers.”

The new figures were unveiled at the Energy Systems Storage 2019 event in London organised by R-UK and the Solar Trade Association.

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