The government is to relax planning legislation, making it easier to build large batteries, maximising the UK’s renewable energy storage.
Announced on 14 July, secondary legislation will see barriers removed for storage projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales. It means over 100 large-scale batteries could now be built – trebling the number in operation – and will also result in storage cells five times larger than those currently available. The government noted how energy storage has played a key role in balancing the UK’s electricity system during the COVID-19 pandemic, with demand falling 20%, enabling what was produced to be used efficiently.
Energy Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Removing barriers in the planning system will help us build bigger and more powerful batteries, creating more green-collar jobs and a smarter electricity network. Flexible technologies like batteries will form part of the UK’s smarter electricity grid, supporting the integration of more low-carbon power, heat and transport technologies, which it is estimated could save the UK energy system up to £40 billion by 2050.”