The Government has announced a change in legislation today (July 14) to accommodate the construction of large batteries for storing renewable energy from solar and wind farms across the UK.
By relaxing planning legislation, the number of batteries serving the electricity grid could treble, and the size of storage cells could increase by five times compared to those currently available.
Today’s announcement will see Ministers introduce secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50 MW in England and 350 MW in Wales, enabling clean energy to be stored and used all year round, instead of being lost when it is not needed.
The change to rules will not only help to balance the electricity system, but by maximising renewable energy storage, Government commitments to net zero carbon are supported and hundreds of new green jobs are created.
Minster for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said:
“The key to capturing the full value of renewables is in ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy even when the sun is not shining, or the wind has stopped blowing.
“Removing barriers in the planning system will help us build bigger and more powerful batteries, creating more green-collar jobs and a smarter electricity network.”
It is estimated that flexible technologies, such as batteries, will form an integral part of the UK’s smarter electricity grid, and could save the energy system up to £40bn by 2050.
It comes the month after Minister’s invested £10m in the world’s largest and first liquid air battery facility in Manchester, which will help to power 200,000 homes.