The government announced it will relax planning legislation to make it easier to construct larger battery storage for renewable energy from solar and wind farms across the UK.
As the world intensifies its efforts to adapt to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressing need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy cannot be ignored.
The UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, however because the availability and speed of wind is not constant, energy can sometimes be produced when it is not needed and then lost.
The move will see ministers introduce secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50 MW in England and 350 MW in Wales, meaning more clean energy can be stored and used all year round.
Removing barriers for energy storage projects, which are discouraging bolder investment decisions in larger battery facilities, could treble the number of batteries serving the electricity grid. It will help bring about storage cells that are 5 times bigger than those currently available.
Wider potential benefits could involve the creation of more jobs in the green energy sector, while the increased efficiency and supply of renewables could mean a reduction in energy costs for consumers – which means lower bills.
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.
“Flexible technologies like batteries will form part of the UK’s smarter electricity grid, supporting the integration of more low-carbon power, heat and transport technologies, which it is estimated could save the UK energy system up to £40 billion by 2050.”