Battery Storage Could Hit 12GW By 2021

A new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on energy storage has claimed that the deployment of 12GW of battery storage is achievable by the end of 2021, while it can also support post-Brexit growth.

It explained that the battery storage sector can grow from 60MW in 2016 to 12GW by 2021 if the UK’s regulatory framework is “speedily upgraded”. It explained the UK’s “entrenched barrier” to widespread deployment of battery storage remains government policy and regulation.

High achievement

The report’s “High Deployment” scenario assumes all policies in the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan are rolled out on-schedule, in parallel with other key reforms. It assumes rapid cost reductions continue and is based on applications such as storage projects co-located at existing and new solar and onshore wind sites, connected to EV charging points and larger, grid connected projects.

One of the key policies, which the report regarded as most needed, was introducing a definition for energy storage as quickly as possible. This would overcome the issue of there being definitions for “generation” and “demand” in the electricity system, but not for storage, it explained. Other policies include a licensing regime for storage, the ability for storage to integrate into existing renewable energy support schemes, and the transition towards a Distribution System Operator (DSO) model. Another aspect that the “High Deployment” scenario assumes is followed through on is storage being offered a strong sector deal, including tax reforms.

The case for

The report said allowing the storage industry to take off domestically is key to developing a stable base from which UK companies and institutions can export products and services around the world. It cited Ofgem’s estimate that between £17bn to £40bn could be saved in total by 2050 from a smarter, more flexible energy system, adding businesses will be able to protect themselves from future energy cost increases by installing storage with renewables. The report warned it’s something UK companies have to do to compete with “savvy international companies already embarking on this journey.”

Ofgem and BEIS are aware of the barriers to storage and have recently consulted on proposed definitions for storage licensing, clarifying the regulatory framework.