Government ministers are hoping to triple the country’s energy storage capacity by relaxing the planning rules which threatened to suppress a nationwide battery boom. The government recently passed legislation to allow large-scale energy storage projects to move ahead, without the red tape and higher costs of navigating the national planning system.
Large-scale battery developers will be able to apply for permission to build their energy storage projects using local planning rules, which are quicker and easier to manage.
The changes should help unleash a boom in large-scale batteries – those with a capacity of 50MW or more – which could help Britain make the most of its growing renewable energy resources as it works towards its climate targets.
The government initially proposed keeping the limits in place following a consultation in January 2019, but by October proposed to reverse its decision amid warnings from the industry that the rules would stifle investment and drive costs higher.
The key to capturing the full value of renewables is in ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy even when the sun is not shining, or the wind has stopped blowing…
Removing barriers in the planning system will help us build bigger and more powerful batteries, creating more green-collar jobs and a smarter electricity network.
Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth.
Batteries are expected to play a far greater role in the UK energy system as we rely more on renewable energy and flexible energy use to help balance the grid without using fossil fuels. With the freeing up of these planning restrictions, it has removed a significant barrier to the sector’s growth. This will support job creation, reduce the pre-construction costs for large projects, will allow more flexibility in the system and mean that energy storage projects generally get connected quicker, all whilst highlighting the UK’s commitment to net-zero.
With such as vast range of experience, no planning consultancy is better suited to tackle the issues surrounding climate change and moving towards zero-carbon as we are. We are happy to work with local authorities and developers to ensure that all elements of the planning process make the essential impact to meet the Government’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Currently, we are working on an ever-increasing number of projects that utilise renewable energy and are excited to see the sector moving in the right direction!