UK battery storage pipeline surges to 16 GW

February 8, 2021

More than 16 GW of battery storage capacity is operating, under construction or being planned in the UK across 729 projects.

This is up from 10.5 GW across 600 projects identified in December 2019, according to RenewableUK’s latest Energy Storage Project Intelligence report.

The report identifies 1.1 GW of battery storage capacity currently operational compared to 0.7 GW in December 2019.

A further 0.6 GW is under construction, 8.3 GW of capacity is consented and 1.6 GW is in the planning system.

Another 4.5 GW are identified as being at an early stage of development for future submission into the planning system.

Secondary legislation came into force in December allowing local planning authorities to determine projects with a capacity of over 50 MW in England and 350 MW in Wales.

Previously these were determined by central government, making the process longer and more complex.

RenewableUK has identified 3 projects which have since been submitted for determination by local planning authorities with a capacity of 100 MW each. 

RenewableUK’s director of future electricity systems Barnaby Wharton said: “We’re already seeing grid-scale batteries of 50 MW being built, providing valuable flexibility to the grid, and we expect many projects with an even larger capacity will be submitted into the planning system following the removal of the 50 MW cap.”

However, many projects need access to capital at a lower cost and more stable revenues, he said: “We’re hoping that the forthcoming update to the Smart System and Flexibility Plan will set out how the Government envisages making revenue streams for storage projects clearer.

“We also need a stable network charging regime and a long-term vision for the sector to encourage further investment by cutting-edge companies.”