UK awards energy storage competition winners

Article by Amanda Jasi

THE UK Government has awarded £6.7m (US$8.9m) to projects across the country that are developing innovative energy storage technologies, supporting the clean energy transition.

As part of its commitment to net zero, the Government is accelerating the transition to cheap, clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Energy storage is crucial to facilitate adoption of these intermittent energy sources, to help manage generation variance and increase resilience.

Twenty-four UK projects have been awarded a share of £6.7m in the first funding round of the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration (LODES) competition, worth £68m in total, to support build and demonstration of their technologies in full. Winners were awarded across two streams, allowing support of technologies at different stages of development. Stream 1 supports full demonstration, while stream 2 supports prototype demonstrations.

Amongst the stream 1 winners is B9 Energy Storage, which aims to create a full-cycle hydrogen economy at its site in Northern Ireland. It will produce hydrogen using excess wind power, that will be stored in local underground salt caverns for later use in transport and electricity sectors. B9 Energy Storage will receive £986, 082 to mobilise its project.

Stream 2 winner EDF R&D UK, leading a consortium, will use the awarded £149,602 to transfer and modify metal hydride storage technology currently used for strontium and deuterium in the fusion energy sector and apply it to safe storage of large quantities of hydrogen, for long periods.

The University of Edinburgh will receive £149,779 to develop and prepare the test of a 36 MWh ultra-high temperature energy storage system that could significantly reduce CO2 emissions from some of the world’s most energy and carbon-intensive processes.

Successful projects could receive further funding in the second round, which will support project commercialisation.

Greg Hands, Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, said: “Driving forward energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy.

“It will allow us to extract the full benefit from our home-grown renewable energy sources, drive down costs and end our reliance on volatile and expensive fossil fuels. Through this competition we are making sure the country’s most innovative scientists and thinkers have our backing to make this ambition a reality.”

The LODES competition is funded through the UK Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy’s £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of clean energy technologies and processes though the 2020s and 2030s. The portfolio includes a biomass programme which awarded funds in August 2021 and a BECCS programme that launched last month.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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