The UK government has awarded funding of nearly £7 million to British projects designed to develop innovative new technologies for energy storage. The funding has been awarded as part of a government-supported competition, and further awards will be confirmed in rounds.
Because renewable energy is largely intermittent - such as wind and solar - it needs to be stored effectively in order to create a robust clean energy infrastructure that can cope with supply variations in a resilient way whilst also being cost-effective.
Thanks to the Longer Duration Energy Storage Competition, 24 British projects will receive an initial wave of funding. The competition as a whole is worth £68 million.
The projects will take a share of more than £6.7 million of public funding to develop exciting new technologies for energy storage that can use stored energy as electricity, heat or hydrogen. They will span from thermal batteries to conversion systems that convert raw energy formats to hydrogen, and all have been chosen for their potential to improve the resilience and performance of the clean energy network and to drive down the costs of a net-zero economy.
Those projects that are successful could also gain further funding in the second phase of the competition, which will help successful concepts to reach commercialisation, encouraging matched private funding and helping to create new jobs in the process.
Greg Hands, the Energy and Climate Change Minister, said that energy storage technologies were the key towards a successful transition to the net-zero economy and vital to ensuring that renewables could become cheap, secure and clean. The development of better energy storage solutions will also help countries to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and boost their security of supply whilst transitioning to the net-zero-carbon economy.