UK energy storage predicted to grow 100-fold by 2020

SmartestEnergy has called for renewables and storage to be able to compete on a level playing field with other forms of energy, as it publishes a new report highlighting how independent developers are turning to batteries.

The energy company published today its fifth annual Energy Entrepreneurs report, which claims battery capacity in the UK could grow by 100-fold by 2020.

According to the report, independent developers have won four fifths of battery contracts in capacity market auctions, having secured 407MW compared to just 105MW with the “Big Six” firms.

Independents have also won more than half (110 MW) the battery contracts to provide enhanced frequency response to stabilise the National Grid.

But SmartEnergy’s vice president, renewables, Iain Robertson, said the market place is looking for stability and a level playing field.

“Onshore wind and solar are already proved to be the cheapest form of generation,” said Robertson.

He added if onshore wind and solar were brought back into the contracts for difference (CfD) auction system, there would be more stability, which he said “makes projects bankable”.

“The benefit that CfD gives is the stability for long-term price signals,” he said.

His comments follow a report last month by Scottish Renewables, which called for solar and onshore wind to be allowed to compete again in CfD auctions.

“The Conservatives are looking to publish a new industrial strategy later on in the year and it would be great to see renewable energy play a leading role in that strategy,” added Robertson.

“Renewables has entered the mainstream. It’s a huge employer and large supply chain opportunities, particularly in offshore wind. There are opportunities to create a long-term future for the sector.

“Energy entrepreneurs are at the forefront as we transitional to a new energy system,” added Robertson. “Independent developers still have renewable project pipelines and are looking at innovative ways to build without subsidy. They are now also driving forward the battery revolution.”

Jamie Hailstone

This article first appeared on edie sister title Utility Week

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