Businesses call on G7 to unlock ‘scalable and affordable’ energy storage solutions

The call comes from the Corporate Leaders Network (CLN), which has published a report exploring the need for accelerated deployment of energy storage. It has been published on the eve of the G7 summit, which will build upon a commitment from the nations to raise ambitions to decarbonise energy grids, deliver low-carbon energy for citizens by 2035 and cut funding for fossil fuels.

The businesses claim that energy storage is a vital cog in global efforts to transition to clean energy grids and that cross-border cooperation can accelerate the market.

The Network, which is convened by The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), outlines how hydropower, liquid air storage, utility-scale batteries and thermal energy storage can all be used to create new market opportunities across regions to catalyse clean energy uptake.

The CLN’s director of policy and systems change collaborations, Beverley Cornaby said: “The outcomes from the G7 environment ministers’ meeting demonstrate ambition and offer a substantive scaffold for net zero action. The agreed targets aim to speed up renewable energy development and the phasing out of fossil fuels to achieve net zero in energy systems by 2050 at the latest.

“Energy storage is a crucial piece of the energy system decarbonisation puzzle. The first companies and investors to roll out reliable, scalable and affordable energy storage solutions will gain a large portion of the market share and benefit from the first mover advantage. And the first governments can accelerate the transition of the energy sector to provide the consistent, zero carbon supply of energy needed to meet their emissions reduction targets.”

The report calls on G7  to tailor storage solutions to countries based on geographical constraints, business environment and availability of finance, policy and regulatory framework, but that the overall storage market requires clear regulatory frameworks and planning processes.

The storage market and sector would also require enabling financial incentives, due to the current high costs associated with solutions. The businesses call for grants, subsidies, loans and tax incentives to spur the market.

Supply-side policies, supplemented with demand-side management systems would also help the market mature. This would open new avenues for businesses utilising storage systems to access balancing mechanisms which would ease grid stability.

Figures from RenewableUK confirm that the total capacity of energy storage projects in operation, under construction, consented and in the planning system now stands at 32.1GW. This is almost double the total capacity recorded under RenewableUK’s same workstream last year, when the headline figure was 16.1GW. The data is listed in the RenewableUK EnergyPulse Energy Storage report.

Last month, the We Mean Business Coalition wrote to world leaders, calling on them to deliver key climate commitments.

We Mean Business claims that the G7 can “help business go faster by facilitating investments in clean energy solutions” while also repurposing the $1trn spent on fossil fuel subsidies, noting that the climate crisis is currently expected to reduce global GDP by as much as 14%, or $23trn, by 2050.

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