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Energy storage sector boosted by multi billion pound investment pledge

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The UK’s energy storage sector has received a boost thanks to an investment pledge of £10bn from NatPower UK to “deliver the country’s largest portfolio of battery storage projects”, totalling over 60GWh.

The clean energy developer plans to bring three large battery storage projects through planning in 2024. These “GigaParks” are to be followed by ten projects in 2025, complemented by large scale solar and wind projects, due to be announced later this year.

While public opinion is widely favourable to renewable energy, investment in the UK is falling short compared to the United States and Europe. In a highly competitive market, changes of government policy and opposition commitments have impacted investor appetite in the UK. It is hoped that this level of investment will help retain the UK’s position among the five most attractive countries for clean energy development. 

Many across the sector have pointed to grid access as the biggest challenge facing our energy decarbonisation plans, with operators seemingly unable to cope with the size and speed of the energy transition. Energy storage projects such as these are therefore essential, enabling energy to be stored for use during time of peak demand or when renewable power isn’t available. They also help reduce curtailment, where wind or solar projects are paid to stop generating power when supply exceeds demand, which could reportedly cost the country £3.5 billion a year by 2030. NatPower hope to help solve these problems via the development of said projects, which will be accompanied by a £600m investment in the development of substations, to help overcome grid bottlenecks and connection delays.

Stefano D. M. Sommadossi, CEO at NatPower UK, said:

“The UK is unrivalled in its resources, skills, policy and potential, and ambitious leaders, government, investors, lenders, and developers, will get us where we need to go.

“The energy transition is not only the fastest way of providing cheaper, cleaner and more secure sources of power, but it is also a staggering opportunity for economic growth.

“The UK has the unique chance to transform itself into an energy transition powerhouse, generating tens of thousands of highly qualified jobs. By investing in substations and focusing on energy storage first, we will enable the next phase of the energy transition and bring down the cost of energy for consumers. We plan to deliver the benefits of the energy transition to all corners of the UK and our portfolio will play a big part in the UK achieving 100% of its targets.”

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