Improving availability of energy storage technology

Following the Government’s announcement to relax planning legislation around constructing larger batteries for renewable power sources, energy storage suppliers should take similar steps to make the technology available on a smaller scale.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) announcement that barriers will be removed for storage projects over 50 MW in England and 350 MW in Wales will boost construction of larger battery facilities. Chris Rason, Managing Director for Aggreko, is therefore encouraging uptake in this technology as the UK moves to a carbon-neutral future.

“The construction of larger batteries is crucial to the Government’s efforts to hit its targets of net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” says Chris. “Great strides are being made to increase the country’s capacity for generating renewable energy, and improving its energy storage capacity is a part of this. As such, the Government’s recent announcement is very welcome news.”

With BEIS figures published last week showing a record 37.1 per cent of UK electricity was generated through renewables, and industry bodies demanding further energy storage infrastructure to service a growing electrical vehicle market, Chris is anticipating increased demand for battery technology. “As the country gravitates toward these more eco-conscious energy sources and technologies, energy storage solutions will grow in popularity to sustain this demand,” says Chris. “With this in mind, it is vital that suppliers offer affordable solutions, in order to give businesses a helping hand overcoming traditional barriers associated with battery technology.

Battery-based storage technology has previously proven prohibitively costly for companies to purchase on an industrial scale. However, progression in the rental space and moves such as the BEIS’s announcement has made it more accessible than it was even three years ago.

As well as allowing for more widespread use of renewable power, the technology also provides an excellent level of grid support. Additionally, when incorporated into the energy mix, battery solutions can help alleviate technical difficulties associated with early-stage decentralised energy schemes, mitigating issues such as low and transient loads, alongside voltage and frequency fluctuations.

Chris concludes: “The relaxation of planning rules is a net positive for those looking to the build large-scale projects, and bodes well for a net zero future. However, suppliers of energy storage technology can do more to support businesses looking to adopt these innovative solutions on a smaller scale.

“Too many companies remain locked out of the energy storage space by prohibitive up-front costs. However, by engaging suppliers such as Aggreko that offer strategic equipment hire options, these capex concerns can be negated. Consequently, companies can take advantage of this technology and continue to decarbonise in line with net zero targets, without any large financial outlay.”

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