The first awards of funding designed to “turbocharge” UK projects developing long-duration energy storage technologies have been made by the country’s government, with £6.7 million (US$9.11 million) pledged.
The total £68 million competitive funding opportunity was launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in June 2021 through the national Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).
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Announced this morning — as BEIS innovation programme manager Georgina Morris prepares to join speakers at the Energy Storage Summit 2022 in London today and tomorrow, hosted by our publisher, Solar Media — a total of 24 projects have now received funding through the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme.
The awards are split into two streams: Stream 1 is for demonstration projects of technologies considered close to commercialisation and aiming to accelerate that process so that they can be deployed on the UK energy system. Stream 2 seeks to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative projects through building “first-of-a-kind” prototypes of full systems.
The five awarded Stream 1 projects are a membrane free green hydrogen electrolyser, gravity-based energy storage, vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB), advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) and a bundled solution of pressurised seawater and compressed air.
Thermal storage technologies were eligible, but none have received funding.
Stream 1 projects will receive funding ranging from £471,760 to £1 million per project.
There are however six thermal energy storage technologies among the 19 Stream 2 awardees. Stream 2 winners must deliver feasibility study reports for their proposed technologies and contribute to knowledge sharing and “sector capacity-building,” BEIS said.
Stream 2 funding ranging from £79,560 to £150,000 went to the six thermal storage projects, four power-to-x category projects and nine electrical energy storage projects.
|Technology type||Project name||Lead party||Location||Technology/scope||Funding (£)|
|Power-to-x energy storage||Ballylumford Power-to-X||B9 Energy Storage||Ballylumford, Northern Ireland||20MW green hydrogen electrolyser storing curtailed wind in salt caverns||986,082|
|Electrical energy storage||GraviSTORE||Gravitricity||Northern England||Multiweight energy storage charged and discharged by lifting and lowering weights in an underground vertical shaft||912,410.84|
|Electrical energy storage||Long Duration Offshore Storage Bundle||Subsea 7 Limited||Aberdeen, Scotland||Combining pressurised seawater and compressed air using hydro-pneumatic tech||471,760|
|Electrical energy storage||Vanadium Flow Battery Longer Duration Energy Asset Demonstrator||Invinity Energy Systems||Bathgate, Scotland||Delivering power on demand from solar PV using 40MWh vanadium flow battery storage system||708,371|
|Electrical energy storage||Cheshire Energy Storage Centre||io consulting||Cheshire, UK||Using Hydrostor’s A-CAES tech to store energy as compressed air in defunct EDF gas cavities||1,000,000|
|Technology type||Project name||Lead party||Location||Technology/scope||Funding (£)|
|Thermal energy storage||EXTEND||Sunamp||East Lothian, Scotland||Feasibility study to extend duration of phase change material (PCM) based thermal storage for heating and hot water||149,893|
|Thermal energy storage||Exergy3||University of Edinburgh||Edinburgh, Scotland||Prepare testing of 36MWh ultra-high temperature energy storage system for industrial process decarbonisation||149,779|
|Thermal energy storage||ADSorB||Active Building Centre Research Programme (Swansea University)||Swansea, Wales||Developing long-duration thermal storage and control systems for domestic heating and grid support||143,440|
|Thermal energy storage||PTES Demonstrator||SynchroStor||Edinburgh, Scotland||Feasibility study for repeatable grid-scale pumped thermal storage system||79,560|
|Thermal energy storage||Utilising Composite Phase Change Materials||Vital Energi||Blackburn, England||Support development of PCM-based thermal storage||131,214|
|Thermal energy storage||INHERENT||Energy Systems Catapult Services Limited||Birmingham, England||Demonstrate ability of domestic thermal storage to provide low-cost, long-duration storage||149,831|
|Power-to-X energy storage||HyDUS||EDF R&D UK||Oxfordshire, England||Tech transfer and modification of metal hydride storage used in fusion sector for hydrogen (protium) storage||149,602|
|Power-to-X energy storage||HEOS||Haskins & Davey||Chester, England||Feasibility study for power-to-x tech based on storing hydrogen in metal hydride||141,000|
|Power-to-X energy storage||RIPCURL||ITM Power||Sheffield, England||R&D into reducing reliance on Platinum Group Metal (PGM) in hydrogen electrolyser cells||149,388|
|Power-to-X energy storage||Hydrilite Refueller Prototype||Corre Energy||Wales||Long-duration hydrogen storage using patented storage medium Carbon280 Hydrilite||149,922|
|Electrical energy storage||FlexiTanker||Cheesecake Energy||Nottingham, England||Develop thermal and compressed air technology||139,411|
|Electrical energy storage||Sustainable Single Liquid Flow Battery||StorTera||Edinburgh, Scotland||Specify and cost MW-scale lithium sulfur flow battery demonstrator project||148,940|
|Electrical energy storage||High-Density Hydro Energy Storage||RheEnergise||London, England||Developing cost-optimised energy storage solution based on pumped hydro principles||149,537|
|Electrical energy storage||e-Zinc Energy Storage Systems||e-Zinc||UK (unspecified)||Accelerate commercialisation of zinc-based battery storage||144,990|
|Electrical energy storage||BlueStor||MSE International||Portsmouth, England||Feasibility study for marine and port-based energy storage using organic flow battery tech||149,779|
|Electrical energy storage||Marine Pumped Hydro||RCAM Technologies||Edinburgh, Scotland||Developing marine pumped hydro tech using 3D printed concrete||150,000|
|Electrical energy storage||Feasibility of Compressed Air Energy Storage in the Offshore UK Continental Shelf||Crondall Energy||UK (unspecified)||Develop application of compressed air storage on UK continental shelf||149,086|
|Electrical energy storage||Co-location of Flow Battery Storage with Solar PV||Locogen||Edinburgh, Scotland||Assess feasibility of colocating existing PV and flow batteries||121,400|
|Electrical energy storage||Renewable Copper||Energy Systems Catapult Services||Birmingham, England||Develop copper/zinc battery storage with 4-12 hour duration ahead of planned demonstrator in Scotland||149,954|
After launching the competition last year, BEIS opened up a three-month Call for Evidence on long-duration energy storage in July, assessing how best to enable long-duration technologies at scale.
A recent report from energy industry consultancy Aurora Energy Research found that up to 24GW of energy storage with a duration of four hours or greater could be needed to enable a net zero energy system in the UK by 2035.
This would enable the integration of variable renewable energy generation and also lower household energy bills by £1.13 billion a year in 2035. It could also reduce the country’s reliance on gas by 50TWh each year and lead to a 10MtCO2 reduction in emissions.
Aurora said however that high upfront costs, long lead times as well as a lack of revenue certainty and market signals are resulting in long-duration energy storage being underinvested into. Policy support and market reforms were recommended in the group’s report.
Another report by KPMG published a few weeks ago said that a cap and floor mechanism would be the best way to reduce investor risk while encouraging operators of long-duration facilities to respond to electricity system requirements.
In the US, the Department of Energy is hosting the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a policy-driven effort to reduce costs and accelerate the adoption of energy storage, including a similar competitive funding opportunity for long-duration technologies and projects. Its aims include reducing the cost of long-duration energy storage 90% by 2030.
Meanwhile a cluster of European trade associations made a recent plea for the European Union (EU) to take a similarly proactive stance to support long-duration energy storage, particularly in the European Green Deal package.