An Energy Storage Roadmap has been launched to outline the technological pathway to net zero.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham have assessed the role that energy storage will need to play in the UK’s energy system over the next 15 years and have outlined a number of requirements for this to happen.
The study notes reaching net zero will require increased adoption of renewable generation, electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps – however, it highlights that these technologies will place new strains on the grid.
To accommodate for changes such as increased intermittency from solar and wind power plants, it states “there is an increasing need for robust heat and electricity storage technologies which can keep energy systems stable and supply reliable”.
It stresses such upgrades, which have been recognised as essential in the government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. must be developed in a “sustainable and integrated way”.
The researchers call on the government to strengthen research and development in the field of electrochemical batteries, assess the effects of battery degradation and other environmental effects, continue reforms to the electricity market and its regulation to enable energy storage technologies to compete fairly, increase innovation support for utility-scale technologies and invest in domestic EV manufacturing.
The report also emphasises the importance of ensuring that policy and regulation keep pace with technical innovation, as well as setting up “institutional competencies to allow energy storage to be operated across scales”.
Dr Alex Buckman, Practice Manager Networks and Energy Storage, Energy Systems Catapult, said: “The deployment of low carbon technologies needed by 2050 to meet net zero will require a significantly increased use of energy storage technologies across all vectors and durations.
“The recommendations made in this roadmap support this uptake through a series of realisable steps, accounting for both near term challenges and long term energy system transformation.”