The government has provided a £30 million boost to renewable energy storage technologies, with the funding going to innovative new projects that can find ways to store clean energy for later use. Although the UK has made tremendous strides in clean energy generation, the challenge now lies in developing reliable, high-capacity energy storage systems that can hold generated energy until it is needed at source, particularly as the country transitions to its low-carbon future.
Cutting-edge businesses in areas such as Nottingham and Scotland are lined up to benefit from a share of this new fund, which will help them to design and test exciting new technologies to modernise the energy system. Specifically, it will support entrepreneurial businesses to test proofs of concept and commercialise new technologies to gain a foothold on the energy market, drive private investment and create new, skilled jobs.
Analysts believe that better energy storage, together with electric vehicle smart charging, could save the UK £10 billion a year by reducing the amount of network energy needed to meet the country's capacity for home-grown power. WIth better storage facilities, the National Grid will be able to better balance the grid by plugging in new storage systems, rather than asking power generators to switch off at high capacity periods. This will save the taxpayer a great deal of money.
The UK is already well placed to lead the way in the field of clean-energy battery storage, with businesses such as Synchrostor in Edinburgh, Invinity Energy and Cheesecake Energy winning funds to build systems that use thermal energy storage, compressed energy storage and vanadium flow battery technologies. All will now produce first-of-a kind technology prototypes to take forwards. So far, this programme has received £69 million of public funding.