Investment needed in long duration electricity storage

The UK electricity system in 2035 can be clean, affordable and keep the lights on, but major investment in long duration storage is urgently needed to ensure energy security.

This is the conclusion from a report by Aurora Energy Research, showing that up to 24 GW of Long Duration Electricity Storage (LDES) – equivalent to eight times the current installed capacity – could be needed to integrate wind power into a secure net-zero electricity system.

The UK’s Net Zero strategy to decarbonise the power system fully by 2035 is subject to security of supply being maintained. With gas-fired generation currently the main flexible resources available to balance intermittent solar and wind, Aurora’s report finds this target is unachievable without urgent investment in viable low-carbon alternatives.

LDES include pumped hydro storage, liquid air energy storage (LAES), flow batteries, compressed air energy storage (CAES) and other innovative new technologies that can store electricity for four hours or more in order to manage demand fluctuations.

The report, entitled Long duration electricity storage in GB, was conducted for a consortium of public and private sector organisations.

Stephen Wheeler, MD of SSE Renewables said: “Cost-effectively and securely decarbonising the UK’s electricity system by 2035 will require a range of flexible home-grown long duration storage technologies. This timely study by Aurora finds that to achieve the Government’s ambition, an eight-fold increase in long duration storage capacity is needed. This amount of storage capacity will not only play a major role in reducing emissions, but also significantly reduce the UK’s reliance on imported gas and in return, keep household energy bills lower and less volatile.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories