UK battery storage pipeline climbs to over 16GW

The UK now has over 16GW of battery storage capacity, spanning 729 projects, either operating, under construction or being planned, according to research.

On 5 February, RenewableUK published its latest Energy Storage Project Intelligent report, mapping out 1.1GW of operational battery storage capacity in the UK, 0.6GW under construction, 8.8GW that has been consented, 1.6GW in the planning system and a further 4.5GW identified as being at an early stage of development. It marks a significant increase from its last report, published in December 2019, which found a pipeline of 10.5GW across 600 projects, with 0.7GW operational.

An additional 6GW of energy storage from liquefied and compressed air, pumped hydro, flywheels and gravity-based technologies is operating, under construction or being planned, taking the UK’s total energy storage portfolio capacity to more than 22GW.

It further noted how in December, the government brought secondary legislation into force, enabling local planning authorities to determine projects with a capacity of over 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales.

This was something previously determined by central government, which led to progress taking longer and proving more complex. RenewableUK had submitted data from its Project Intelligence service, highlighting how the 50MW cap had been imposing an artificial ceiling on the capacity of battery storage projects. It noted it is already seeing results, identifying three projects submitted for determination by local planning authorities that have a capacity of over 100MW each.