The Energy Storage Report 2024

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UK government awards funding to longer-duration energy storage tech projects

Anglo-American flow battery provider Invinity Energy Systems was awarded funding for a 40MWh project. Image: Invinity Energy Systems.

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. 


Stream 1

Technology typeProject nameLead partyLocationTechnology/scopeFunding (£)
Power-to-x energy storageBallylumford Power-to-XB9 Energy StorageBallylumford, Northern Ireland20MW green hydrogen electrolyser storing curtailed wind in salt caverns986,082
Electrical energy storageGraviSTOREGravitricityNorthern EnglandMultiweight energy storage charged and discharged by lifting and lowering weights in an underground vertical shaft912,410.84
Electrical energy storageLong Duration Offshore Storage BundleSubsea 7 LimitedAberdeen, ScotlandCombining pressurised seawater and compressed air using hydro-pneumatic tech471,760
Electrical energy storageVanadium Flow Battery Longer Duration Energy Asset DemonstratorInvinity Energy SystemsBathgate, ScotlandDelivering power on demand from solar PV using 40MWh vanadium flow battery storage system708,371
Electrical energy storageCheshire Energy Storage Centre io consultingCheshire, UKUsing Hydrostor’s A-CAES tech to store energy as compressed air in defunct EDF gas cavities1,000,000

Stream 2

Technology typeProject nameLead partyLocationTechnology/scopeFunding (£)
Thermal energy storageEXTENDSunampEast Lothian, ScotlandFeasibility study to extend duration of phase change material (PCM) based thermal storage for heating and hot water149,893
Thermal energy storageExergy3University of EdinburghEdinburgh, ScotlandPrepare testing of 36MWh ultra-high temperature energy storage system for industrial process decarbonisation149,779
Thermal energy storageADSorBActive Building Centre Research Programme (Swansea University)Swansea, WalesDeveloping long-duration thermal storage and control systems for domestic heating and grid support143,440
Thermal energy storagePTES DemonstratorSynchroStorEdinburgh, ScotlandFeasibility study for repeatable grid-scale pumped thermal storage system 79,560
Thermal energy storageUtilising Composite Phase Change MaterialsVital EnergiBlackburn, EnglandSupport development of PCM-based thermal storage 131,214
Thermal energy storageINHERENTEnergy Systems Catapult Services LimitedBirmingham, EnglandDemonstrate ability of domestic thermal storage to provide low-cost, long-duration storage149,831
Power-to-X energy storageHyDUSEDF R&D UKOxfordshire, EnglandTech transfer and modification of metal hydride storage used in fusion sector for hydrogen (protium) storage149,602
Power-to-X energy storageHEOSHaskins & DaveyChester, EnglandFeasibility study for power-to-x tech based on storing hydrogen in metal hydride 141,000
Power-to-X energy storage RIPCURLITM 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, EnglandDevelop thermal and compressed air technology 139,411
Electrical energy storage Sustainable Single Liquid Flow BatteryStorTeraEdinburgh, ScotlandSpecify and cost MW-scale lithium sulfur flow battery demonstrator project 148,940
Electrical energy storage High-Density Hydro Energy Storage RheEnergiseLondon, EnglandDeveloping cost-optimised energy storage solution based on pumped hydro principles149,537
Electrical energy storage e-Zinc Energy Storage Systemse-ZincUK (unspecified)Accelerate commercialisation of zinc-based battery storage 144,990
Electrical energy storage BlueStorMSE International Portsmouth, EnglandFeasibility study for marine and port-based energy storage using organic flow battery tech149,779
Electrical energy storage Marine Pumped HydroRCAM Technologies Edinburgh, ScotlandDeveloping marine pumped hydro tech using 3D printed concrete 150,000
Electrical energy storage Feasibility of Compressed Air Energy Storage in the Offshore UK Continental ShelfCrondall 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 PVLocogenEdinburgh, ScotlandAssess feasibility of colocating existing PV and flow batteries 121,400
Electrical energy storage Renewable CopperEnergy Systems Catapult ServicesBirmingham, EnglandDevelop copper/zinc battery storage with 4-12 hour duration ahead of planned demonstrator in Scotland149,954

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.

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