Britain’s £246 m Battery Challenge Won’t Solve Energy Storage Problem


By Kathryn Toghill and Dénes Csala in The Conversation.

Renewable energy’s share of British electricity generation from wind and solar technologies reached record levels of 26% in the past year. This is excellent news for our national carbon emissions, but the grid is under increasing pressure to manage this intermittent power supply.

The on-and-off nature of renewable energy means that to avoid unexpected blackouts and surges it must be integrated into the national electricity grid alongside energy storage. That is the challenge that lies in the background as the UK government announced it will invest £246m in research funding on a four-year energy storage strategy focusing on battery innovation.

It is hoped that the “Faraday Challenge” will break down barriers to new battery technologies and introduce new business models. The plan is to establish a Battery Research Institute and drive innovation, particularly for the electric vehicle industry. However, the plan’s size and scope sends mixed signals to the energy storage sector and brings confusion on the longer-term direction.


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