The government has announced it will make a new £6.7m fund available to 24 UK projects that are working on developing new green energy storage technologies.
Each project will be able to enjoy a share of the fund, which comes as part of the government’s continuing commitment to help reach the nation’s net zero targets.
This is also claimed to be only the first phase funding through the ‘Longer Duration Energy Storage competition’, which in total will see upwards of £68m being awarded to similar projects in the long term. In addition, any successful projects from this first round could be eligible for further financial support in phase two.
Helping to store ‘intermittent’ green energy
One of the current issues with our production of renewables is the intermittent nature of when it is created.
We can often see increased creation of green energy when it isn’t needed – such as extended periods of sunshine or stronger than expected winds. But with more effective storage, we’ll be able to hold on to this energy for longer periods to then better manage changes in supply and demand.
The additional benefits from this would be that more energy would be available for households, which in turn would bring down wholesale costs and our energy bills. This would also significantly help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and would make the transition to a cleaner energy infrastructure much easier.
Furthermore, creation of the new energy storage technologies would boost employment in this sector and see our levels of domestically produced energy notably increased.
Speaking about the potential of the fund, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said:
"Driving forward, energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy.
"It will allow us to extract the full benefit from our home-grown renewable energy sources, drive down costs and end our reliance on volatile and expensive fossil fuels. Through this competition we are making sure the country’s most innovative scientists and thinkers have our backing to make this ambition a reality."
A variety of innovative new projects
Some of the new creations from the 24 projects includes ‘new energy storage technologies that can utilise stored energy as heat, electricity or as a low-carbon energy carrier like hydrogen’.
A few specific examples include:
- Sunamp’s EXTEND project, East Lothian, Scotland – which is developing the storage duration of their thermal batteries.
- Cheesecake Energy’s FlexiTanker project, Nottingham, England – which is developing their thermal and compressed air energy storage technology to integrate more renewables into the grid.
- B9 Energy Storage’s Ballylumford Power-to-X project, Larne, Northern Ireland – which is looking at storing green hydrogen in underground salt caverns.
How soon will we see the effects of these projects?
With the current energy crisis, record high prices and the fact that it’s not advised right now to run an energy comparison to switch to a better deal – as the best energy deals from the UK’s best energy suppliers can’t beat Ofgem’s price cap – consumers all over the country will be eager for such projects to come to fruition and bring down our bills.
The current timeline for net zero means we should expect to see developments in green energy within the next decade, but if the first phase proves successful it may well be sooner.
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Rich is a freelance copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience. His career has seen him work in-house and in various agencies, producing online and offline content marketing campaigns and copywriting for clients in the energy industry.